January the 9th is said to be the “International Day of Quitting”. Most people who set New Year’s resolutions have given up on their healthy eating and exercise goals a week and a half into their commitment. Yet most people require months and perhaps years of practice and habit-forming to solidify a healthy lifestyle. Good intentions for healthy eating without a proper goal setting foundation and peer support will often wind you up right back where you started, or even set further back by next year than when you started. Here I’ve listed some tips to achieve those goals the sustainable way. Let’s do this together, and before January the 9th! 1. Write down your goals. Research has demonstrated that people who write down their goals regularly have been three times as likely to achieve them in a few years’ time than those who do not write them down. 2. Use SMART goal setting. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-oriented goals will help you to define specifically what you want to achieve. Don’t forget to write down when and where you will make these changes, why you want to achieve these goals, and what external and internal rewards they will bring you! Send me a message with the contact form if you would like FREE, no-strings-attached assistance in setting your own nutrition and fitness goals using the SMART goal setting method. 3. Double the time you expect to achieve your goals. Real life happens. Holidays come around a few occasions a year. People have birthdays. Someone brings in cake to work. You may get sick with a cold. Take it easy on yourself and know that your health will be a lifelong journey! 4. Take it one or two steps at a time. Make sure you choose very small and achievable goals to start off. The sense of achievement, even small achievement, will help to motivate you later to continue striving toward your goals. You are much less likely to achieve ANY goal if you try to commit to ten goals at once, than you are to achieve ONE of two set goals, no matter how small. 5. Work to achieve your goals alongside a friend or family member. Ask someone you trust to join you on your journey to maximize your health. You are most likely to achieve your goals when the people in your household are completely on board with you and are willing to make healthy changes too. 6. Get help from a professional to both set your goals and help you achieve them. With support, you are more likely to secure your chances of getting sustainable results! A Registered Dietitian or Registered Nutritionist uses science-based evidence and five years of University-accredited training to help you understand your body functions, metabolism, and nutrient needs. A Registered Dietitian can help you to align your nutrition goals with any chronic diseases or conditions, or risk thereof that you may have. For your fitness goals, a Personal Trainer will create a personalized workout program for you that prevents injury, builds muscle and strength efficiently, and provides you with enough push to lose body fat! Merry Christmas to all, and Happy New Year! Best wishes for your "lifelong" resolutions!