SNAP-Ed NY: Set Attainable Goals for Your New Year
By Wendy Beckman, MS, RD, CDN
Goals and a resolution are similar. Resolutions are statements of intention, and goals are commitments that require action.
Resolutions focus on the destination. Goals encompass the journey toward the end purpose. Here are 5 tips for setting and achieving goals:
Make sure your goals are specific enough.
A goal like “I am going to get into shape” or “I am going to take control of my finances” is not specific enough. Rewording goals to something like “I will walk a distance of one mile three times a week starting on January 15th” or “I will stick to my weekly budget during the month of January 2022” is is more concrete, and it will be easier to adhere to.
Make your goal measurable.
If your goal is to walk for one mile three times a week, you can record your progress and measure how often you stuck to your stated goal.
Write down your goals and record your progress.
Writing down your goal will help you it, and it can be measured. There is also something powerful putting goals on paper.
Break your goals down into manageable steps.
To begin setting goals, create a strategy to avoid biting off more than you can chew and give yourself permission to reevaluate why a goal is not getting accomplished. For example, you might set a goal of getting your taxes done. You might find that you keep putting off doing your taxes because “getting your taxes done” actually consists of many smaller steps. You might want to break each task out as individual goals to tackle one at a time. For example, goal number one could be to gather your receipts. Making a second goal of gathering your bank statements, and setting a third goal of getting the information entered into a spreadsheet, could help you feel a sense of accomplishment. Once the goals are broken down, you can cross each goal from your list, and at the end, your taxes will be finished!
Keep your eyes on the prize.
Identifying why you want to make a change can be just as important as committing to make that change. Getting healthier in the new year is a broad goal, but your steps toward that goal could include exercising three times a week and eating fruits and vegetables with each meal. Asking yourself why you want to be healthier can be motivation. Writing down “I want to see my grandchild graduate from college” or “I want to walk my daughter down the aisle at her wedding” might help you accomplish the steps that will get you there.
Wendy Beckman, MS, RD, CDN is a Registered Dietitian with the New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA). She has over 15 years’ experience working as a Registered Dietitian in long term care and acute care settings and currently oversees the NYSOFA SNAP-Ed Nutrition Education program for older adults in New York State. This material was funded by USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This institution is an equal opportunity provider. For more information on how to save time, save money and eat healthy, visit www.snapedny.org