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New Year New You!

If YOU want this year to be different and finally start living a healthier, happier life then the following might be helpful for you to know. With less than 8% of individuals being successful in attaining their New Year’s Resolutions it’s easy to see why many of us finish the year feeling frustrated. Amongst the top ten resolutions for 2015 are to lose weight, stay fit and healthy, and quit smoking. So how do you make them stick?

A tried and true principle for forming health goals in general is to follow the S.M.A.R.T. formula. One thing I have learnt by working at The Biggest Loser retreat is the real secret to achieving your goals is the extra ‘S’ I’ve added to this making it the S.M.A.R.T.S. formula.

 S – stands for Specific. Make sure you make your goal very specific. Simply stating, for example, that you will exercise more this year isn’t specific enough. You need to specify what type of exercise, when you are going to fit it in, and how long you will exercise for.

M – stands for Measureable. You need to make sure your goal is able to be measured otherwise you won’t be able to keep track of positive changes and lose motivation. An example, keeping in line with the exercise theme above, is to record how many days a week and for how long you are planning to exercise for.Resolutions written in a mix of letters with a tape measure

A – stands for Achievable. You need to consider whether your goal is achievable given your current life circumstances. Are you setting yourself up for failure by pitching the bar too high? If for example you are attempting to run a half marathon this year then you need to consider whether you can commit to the training required to run this distance.

R – stands for Realistic. Is your goal realistic given your current life circumstances? Is it affordable? If you are very unfit for instance then running a half marathon will not be possible initially; perhaps aim for a shorter distance such as a 10km fun run.

T – stands for Time-framed. You need to set a time-frame so that you can work towards your goal with an end in sight otherwise you are at risk of  fun run two months from now and work towards training for this event.

S – stands for Someone Accountable. This really is the key to keeping New Year’s Resolutions. Aim to be accountable to someone else. Post your goals on the fridge so that you and your family are reminded of them regularly. Join a sporting club, exercise group, or even an online health forum. Accountability means that you will follow through on your goals even when you don’t feel like doing them.

Hopefully by setting our S.M.A.R.T.S goals this year we will be able to stick with our New Years Resolutions long enough to see some positive results.

Remember that better health is thru simple habits.

Dr Cris.