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Creating Great Habits That Last a Lifetime

The New Year is right around the corner. Many people are already proclaiming their New Year Resolution. What about you? Have you considered creating great habits that will last a lifetime? Most people who make a New Years resolution never see it through. Why is that? It could be because the resolution is unrealistic or not specific. It could be a lack of commitment.

In order to set yourself up for success, it is better to create a goal that you can realistically achieve. It also needs to be a priority for you. For example, you may know that you need to plan your meals so that you eat healthy, but it is not a priority so you do not follow through. Perhaps you have been told to lose weight because you are at risk for diabetes but it is not a priority for you.

If you want to create a great habit that will last a lifetime, think about what is important to you. Is it starting a regular exercise program? Is it making a behavior change so that you can maintain your weight? Think about how you can achieve that goal. What is one step or action you can take to achieve that healthy habit?

One of the best ways to achieve a goal is to create a SMART Goal. The “S” stands for specific; the “M” stands for measurable; the “A” stands for achievable; the “R” stands for realistic; the “T” stands for time bound. Achieving a goal can be accomplished by creating a clear, well-defined goal. Ask yourself, what do I want to accomplish? For example, A goal to “exercise more” is not specific. To make the goal specific, I will walk to improve my overall health.

The next step in creating a SMART goal to make sure that the goal is measurable. This takes into account any actions you would implement to help you further your progress toward your goal.  You can make the above goal measurable by adding 10 minutes after dinner on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. I will walk to improve my overall health for 10 minutes after dinner on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.  This is measurable by marking the days and times you walked on your calendar or tracking on your smart watch.

Additionally, it is important to assure that your goal is achievable. Do you have the time and resources needed to achieve the goal? This may require you to look at your schedule and make sure that you have the time to walk for 10 minutes or you may need to make adjustments to your goal.

Next, you want to make sure your goal is realistic. Ask yourself, can I realistically walk for 10 minutes after dinner on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays? If the answer is yes, then you are good to go. If the answer is no, then you will need to make an adjustment. Perhaps walk for 10 minutes, two times a week on Mondays and Fridays.

Finally, it is important that your goal is Time bound. I will begin walking for 10 minutes on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays starting this Monday for the next three weeks. Once you have mastered that goal, you will want to gradually add time to walks. For example, add another 5 minutes for the next three weeks, then another 5 minutes for the following three weeks. It is also important to have an accountability partner. Pick someone that you know will hold you accountable by checking in with you a few times a week. Or walk with a friend or family member. Keep track of your progress on a calendar or smart watch.