A new year is around the corner! 🎉 Let’s have a fresh start and plan our 2023 Health Resolutions together! The aim here is to create realistic and sustainable goals, in order to be able to stay consistent with them throughout the years.
Are you ready? Download the worksheets here to follow me along on this journey!
2023 Health Resolutions: Make Your Goal SMART
The first step for sustainable health resolutions is to make sure that our goals are SMART!
Let’s start by asking ourselves the following questions:
- What health goals do you currently have?
- What are the main obstacles to achieving them?
- What is the why behind them (i.e. the main motivation for achieving them)?
Write all of them down, either on paper or on a note on your phone. The format doesn’t matter as long as you are clear on your vision.
Later, we are going to clean one up and turn it into a SMART goal! Then we will break the goal down further. The process we will review is below:
- Create a SMART goal
- Break that goal down into the skills needed to reach that goal
- Break the skills down into practices
- Break those practices down into tangible actions
For the purposes of the rest of this article, we will be using a weight loss goal as our 2023 health resolution.
First, WHY? Let’s identify the why behind our 2023 health resolutions
The most powerful why is your core why!
The 5 why’s rule is an excellent exercise to really get to the core of your “why”. This is usually the reason that makes you tear up when you think about it, and/or lights a fire within you!
For example, when I chose to lose weight (back when I really needed to), the ability to take better care of my son was one very compelling reason. The other was the desire to feel loveable again after a difficult breakup I had just been through. These reasons evoke emotions that can spark action if you want them to!
Below is an excellent exercise you can do with yourself to get to the core of your “why”. These are included in the worksheets you can download here.
1. How to create SMART Goals
Have you ever heard about SMART goals? If not, don’t worry! By the end of this article, you will be a true pro in setting them. 💪
As the word might suggest, SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timebound) goals are set in a way that will allow us to reach our targets in a faster, more strategic way. Let’s break down each of these adjectives, using the example of a weight loss goal.
The first thing you have to do when setting SMART goals is to be very specific about them. In doing that, you can use the questions below to drill down into the intentions of your goal. Again, remember our example is weight loss and an imaginary person is answering them.
I want to lose weight.
I want to be able to keep up with my kids
Familiar or significant other.
Doesn’t matter in this context.
Access to healthy foods, weight loss coach 😉
In order to know when you have achieved the goal, you will need some quantitative means of measurement to define your “finish line”.
Therefore, ask yourself:
I want to lose 20 pounds.
The scale says 145 lbs when I step on the scale in the morning.
Is your goal so challenging and unrealistic that you could quite possibly be signing yourself up for failure? As an “overachiever” myself, I totally get the motivation to plan overly complex, time-consuming goals. Resist the urge. Your goal needs to be challenging, but attainable.
Ask yourself the following:
Eating better, creating a calorie deficit, and getting exercise.
Healthy food may possibly be more expensive (but I’ll save money not eating at restaurants).
The language here of “relevant” has always been a bit confusing to me. I interpret it as relevant to your values and priorities. You wouldn’t take on a goal that doesn’t make sense in the context of your life and what really matters to you. If you don’t feel strongly about the goal, you might need to clarify or change it.
A relevant goal can answer “yes” to these questions:
There’s nothing more motivating than having a deadline. I’m sure I’m speaking the language of all procrastinators out there. Your goal can’t just go on forever. Define your deadline, and do your best to stick to it.
May 1st! I’m getting married then. Added motivation!
Awesome! Now we have a SMART goal. It may look something like this:
I want to lose 20 pounds by May 1st (so I can become healthier, so I can keep up with my kids).
2. Goal Visualization
Now that you have a goal, write it down! Then, start visualizing it. 👁 Visualization is key for keeping higher levels of motivation and helping us stay focused on our 2023 health resolutions! You can use Canva.com to create a “postcard” of your future where you reach that goal. Envision what your life could look like if you obtain this goal.
3. Break Down Goal Into Skills
The third step is breaking down our goal into skills. Let’s start by asking ourselves “what skills do I need to master in order to reach my goal?”
If you are overweight, chances are that your typical day in life could use improvement. What skills might you need to strengthen or establish to reach your goal? The skills in the example below are a few of the many skills we work on in my weight loss program.
4. Break Skills Down Into Practices
Then, we need to make sure that the practices we choose in order to develop the necessary skills to meet your goal fit into the 5S criteria. Let’s have a look at them:
As shown in the image, the skills you are evaluating to obtain in order to reach your goal must be: segmental, simple, sequential, strategic, and supported.
Here is the example for weight loss, again examples taken from my weight loss program.
Looking for support? I’m a weight loss and nutrition coach! Hit me up. 😉
4. What Actions Will You Do Daily to Practice?
Last but not least, we will break those skills down into daily actions. These are simple actions that contribute to that week’s practice. Daily small steps can lead to massive action over time!
Examples of actions for two example practices:
Eat enough protein
- Keep track of how many servings you eat a day
Choose a rainbow of colorful vegetables
- Keep track of how many servings of vegetables you have a day
- Try new vegetables, of diverse colors
After we have broken down your goals into skills, practices, and actions – let’s go ahead and schedule them in your calendar! Now you have an excellent blueprint to reach our 2023 health goals! Let’s go and get them!!! 💗
If you find this article interesting, you might also want to read this Health and Wellness Gift Guide for Adopting a Healthier Lifestyle, and my Weight Loss Goals: 3 tips for setting effective goals + my experience.
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