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Turn Over A New Leaf For The New Year: How To Set Realistic Goals

Did you blink? Seems like we went January, February, Novem….. Happy New Year! It happened so fast! And every day we’re getting closer to the infamous count down to midnight and another year of “New Me!”

Nearly half of all Americans set at least one New Year’s resolution, and you may be one of them. Most of us know how that goes; you have ambitious goals to make the changes you want to see. But it’s hard to stay motivated and by the end of the year all you have to show for it is a blank page of accomplishments.

How does this happen? We tend to have big dreams and want to achieve a goal that isn’t realistic for our current situation. It quickly becomes overwhelming and seems completely out of the realm of possibility. Rather than trying to put any small effort toward the goal, we check out and quit altogether.

If this has been your experience, you definitely shouldn’t feel bad about it. Why? Because it’s completely normal. The majority of people who make resolutions aren’t successful at achieving them. Some statistics say this is the experience of around 90 percent of people who resolve for change.

Also, if you don’t know how to set SMART goals and focus on achieving smaller objectives throughout the process, it can be difficult to stay motivated. But with a little bit of time considering personal goals combined with action planning, you can carve your path to a successful resolution!

Why is it important to set realistic goals?

Without SMART goals, it’s hard to know when you’re actually making progress. SMART = Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely.

·       Specific – Your goal should be defined and clearly understood. Don’t make it ambiguous. What is it that you ultimately want to achieve? For example, being healthier is not a specific goal. Instead, try setting a goal to lose a certain amount of weight, compete in your first 5k, or get off of a prescription medication.

·       Measurable – It’s important to set a goal that can be measured with additional criteria to show how you’re progressing throughout your journey. Break your larger goal down into smaller milestones and work to achieve one thing at a time. And celebrate the small wins along the way!

·       Achievable – A goal should always be able to be achieved. If it pushes you outside of your comfort zone, that’s OK! But it shouldn’t be impossible to reach the finish line.

·       Realistic – Think about your why. Why do you want to reach this goal? Is it relevant to your life? Is it going to contribute to something larger? Are you even motivated to move forward? If it doesn’t make sense for you and what you value, it may not be the right goal.

·       Timely – Put a deadline on your goal or each milestone that adds up to you reaching your target. This will give you a sense of urgency to push forward and keep you from slacking on what you’re trying to accomplish.

Having an achievable goal that can be broken down into smaller measurable goals will drive your motivation. Knowing you can do something is the best encouragement you can have to actually do it!

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How to choose a realistic goal.

Think about what matters most to you. Find the areas that are important and the elements that you are not satisfied with. Then reflect on what is keeping you from being happy and comfortable with that area. Determine what might make you feel differently.

Maybe health is important to you because chronic disease runs in your family, and you want to prevent any problems for you and your children. And it could be that you’re not satisfied with your own health because you have joint paint and feel sluggish and weak. So you decide to focus on health as a personal goal. Figure out what you want to improve (i.e., weight, movement, or nutrition) and set smaller goals to work toward it.

Determine the level of support you have. Do you have people around you – family and friends – who will help keep you accountable and encourage you? If you need help, think about asking people close to you to assist you in reaching your goal. Be transparent and share your goals with them so they can support you the best way possible.

Finally, don’t be afraid to change your goals when necessary! You may think you’ve chosen the right goal, but it’s not uncommon to start down the path and realize that it just doesn’t fit in your life at the time.

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How True Citrus can help.

Whether your goal is personal or professional, for health, home or work productivity, True Citrus is here to support you! Staying hydrated not only keeps you stronger but keeps your body functioning properly, too. So you have a better chance of achieving anything you put your mind to. Just grab a refreshing hydration mix in your favorite flavor, pour into your water bottle and shake it up. Now you’re all set to crush your goals!

Amy Cimo

Written by

Amy Cimo is a Nutrition Coach, Personal Trainer and Wellness Enthusiast based out of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. After going through her own health journey, she found her passion in helping others find balance between nutrition, physical activity and mindset to live healthy and be truly happy. Amy attended Louisiana State University where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. She became a Certified Personal Trainer in 2021 through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and a Certified Nutrition Coach in 2022 through Precision Nutrition.