Whether you want to eat better, exercise more, stop smoking, or any other healthy lifestyle change, there are many scientifically proven methods and techniques that can help you reach your goals.
One method I highly recommend is using S.M.A.R.T. goals. Many people fail in their lifestyle change efforts because their goals were not SMART enough. So what’s a SMART goal?
Specific: “eating better” or “do more excercise” is too vague… an example of a specific goal would be “do 30 minutes of walking per day for the next 2 weeks”
Measurable: You need to be able to take note of the times you undertake the behavior – so write it down! For example, keep a journal, or take notes on your smartphone.
Attractive: If you are not motivated to do it, if you don’t feel like doing it, it just won’t happen. So write down a list of all the advantages of the change you’re undertaking, and all the disadvantages of the not undertaking the change.
Realistic: If you plan on changing too fast or to much, it will hamper your odds of success. So ask yourself “Is this a realistic goal?” If it isn’t, then tweak it.
Time delimited: Telling yourself you will do this new behavior “for the rest of your life” is very stressful… how about telling yourself “I’ll do this for the next 7 days”? By fixing a smaller time frame, you’re better able to achieve the goal, which leads to more experience in undertaking this new healthy behavior. Once the time period is up, you simply “renew your contract with yourself” for another week. You then keep on renewing over and over again until the new behavior becomes a permanent habit.
Visit our website to check out more tips on how to increase motivation for healthy lifestyle changes and maintain your resolutions!
Photo credit: Amodiovalerio Verde
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