New Year, New Way to Set Goals!
Did you set a “New Year’s Resolution” for 2020? Have you already broken it? If so, you are not alone! According to Us News and World Report, 80% of New Year’s Resolutions fail by the second week of February; and only 8% of resolutions are kept through December.
At GI for Kids, I work to help my patients set goals that are lasting. We focus on goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time based (A.K.A. SMART goals). SMART goals are helpful to kids of many ages and can apply to all areas of life. At GI for Kids, I find that I teach goal setting most often with clients managing picky eating, autism, and fatty liver, as well as those just learning to make healthier food and lifestyle choices.
Why do SMART goals work?
SMART goals are focused and easy to understand. They also set a specific time frame for reassessment. These points are key to successful goal planning. In my experience, I find that people tend to set goals that are too broad (which usually ends up being too difficult) or they tend to set a goal that they are already meeting (too easy).
Examples of SMART goals
- I am going to limit sugar sweetened beverages (coke, sweet tea, gatorade, juice) to no more than eight ounces per day for the next 1 week.
- I am going to aim to include 1 serving of either a fruit or vegetable with each of my meals for the next 5 days.
- I am going to walk outside for 30 minutes 3 times per week for the next 1 month.
I often recommend that my patients or their parents set a reminder on their phone for the specified reassessment time. This helps to keep you accountable for your goal and allows a set time for you to analyze your success. SMART goals also help you set objectives that you can later build on, which is key to long term success with increasing variety in the diet, becoming more active, and managing your weight. The SMART criteria can be applied to help you achieve food/beverage, meal time behavior, and exercise goals. Goals can also be set for individuals or entire families. Come see me at GI for Kids to work on goal planning today!