Hello and Happy New Year!
It’s no secret that the New Year is seen as a clean slate and a chance to start fresh for most people. You can see the evidence everywhere—there’s more people in the gym, eating “healthy foods” and trying new things to promote better wellness.
A survey conducted by Forbes Health/OnePoll found that 39% of their respondents wanted to improve fitness, 37% wanted to lose weight and 33% hoped to improve their diet in the new year. Unfortunately, despite having all of this optimism, another survey from Urban Plates/Ipsos found that most people keep their resolutions for less than a year, with only 11% lasting for more than 6 months. But why?
Let’s dive deeper into wellness goal setting and how you can set attainable goals that you can be guaranteed to keep this year—and many more to come!
When setting a goal, most people choose what they want to achieve and go for it!
While this can be successful for some people, most might find themselves going back to old habits sooner than they would like. By setting a specific goal or using the S.M.A.R.T. goal method, you can increase your chances of obtaining your wellness wins as you’re essentially creating a plan to help you succeed.
A smart goal is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Bound.
It can be a way to really target your goal setting (and is something I use with my clients as a registered dietitian!). When we look at typical wellness goals, most aren’t specific. Usually someone says they want to be healthier or exercise more…but HOW will they achieve these things?
A S.M.A.R.T. goal in this realm would be something like, “I would like to increase my intake of nutrient dense foods by eating a serving of fruit and non-starchy vegetables at two meals a day, three days out of the week” or “I would like to incorporate 10 minutes of cardio by walking 3 days out of the week on my lunch break.”
When a goal is more achievable and relevant to you, you are more likely to achieve it and move to the next steps in your wellness journey.
OTHER WAYS TO ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS
While S.M.A.R.T. goals are a great way to help ensure success, they are not the only method you can use to help!
Let’s dive deeper into some of the other ways you can help meet your goals.
Write them down
Writing your goals down in a visible or safe place can help serve as gentle motivation to help you reach your goals. Studies have shown that people who write down their goals and dreams on a regular basis are 42% more likely to achieve them!
Find your tribe
I cannot stress enough how beneficial having an accountability partner or group can be when starting a new wellness journey or new diabetes goal. It can be something as simple as creating a channel on Slack to share new recipe ideas with coworkers or finding an online diabetes community such as Connected in Motion, Risely Health, Dope Diabetic Girls, YourDiabetesInsider, or Diversity in Diabetes. Not only will they be able to empathize with what you’re going through, but they often have peer shared resources or free events by healthcare providers that can be beneficial to keeping you on track.
Start off slow
This is the biggest barrier I see when it comes to goals and clients. People are excited to make a change and hit the ground running, but may bite off more than they can chew (no pun intended!). If you’re someone who doesn’t exercise, going to the gym and running on the treadmill may not be sustainable. It’s just like someone who doesn’t usually eat vegetables would not likely maintain their new goal of “eating salads every day at lunch.” Try to make your goal something that you know you can achieve such as trying a new non-starchy veggie every two weeks or going for a walk as a mental health break during the day.
Don’t forget you can track your activity on the Glooko mobile app! You can put your fitness tracker you got gifted over the holidays to excellent use as Glooko is compatible with many popular fitness and biometric devices.
You can also keep track of what new veggies you’re trying by logging in our food tracker within the Glooko mobile app and using the notes feature to remember which veggies you loved (and which you didn’t!).
DON’T BEAT YOURSELF UP
Lastly, don’t beat yourself up. People with diabetes are already making at least 180 more decisions each day than those who are not living with diabetes, so to add something new on top of that can be extremely challenging!
I always like to set a check in point with my goals or when helping clients set goals. This allows you to reflect on what worked and what didn’t after a month or six months. Once you know what didn’t work, try to brainstorm ways to eliminate these barriers to make it work better for you.
When it’s a diabetes related goal, diabetes management looks and works differently for everyone. It can feel disappointing at first, but know that you’re not alone. Tools, such as the insulin logging feature and medication logging feature on the Glooko mobile app, can help you with adhering to your prescribed medication regimen, can help to empower you to discover dosing strategies when looking to increase your time in range, and can help your healthcare team tailor your care plan as they have access to the data too!
Small changes lead to big results, but most importantly you got this! I’ll be reminding you to check in on your goals in a few months, but I’ll like to leave you with an easy goal to achieve this year before next month…Goal #1: download the Glooko mobile app in the App Store and Google Play Store.
Your friend in food,
Bridget Wood, RD, LD, CDCES