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HEALTHBEAT 4: Setting S.M.A.R.T New Year’s Resolutions

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(KTIV) -- The new year is almost here and many people will be setting some pretty big goals. But, how can you stick to those new year's resolutions?

Losing weight, eating healthier, and saving money. Those are all common goals UnityPoint Health-St Luke's dietitian Judy Held hears for the new year.

"Just by saying you want to be healthier in 2020, that's a pretty lofty goal," Held said.

One way to set yourself up for success is by using the acronym S.M.A.R.T.

"Meaning our goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant or realistic and then time-bound," said Held.

So lets break that down into the smaller steps on how it could work for you.

Say you've made your New Year's resolution as losing weight. Held said the goal just isn't specific enough.

Instead, you should ask yourself what are the steps that it's going to take to get to that end result of weight loss.

"So maybe an example of a S.M.A.R.T phrase might be, in order to lose weight, I'm going to exercise or increase my activity and again we want to be specific," said Held. "So state what you're going to do and how many times a week. So an example might be, I will walk for 30 minutes, three times a week and that would be Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Even be as specific as where are you going to walk or who are you going to walk with."

Another broad goal people set during the new year is wanting to eat healthier. Held said you should look at the small changes you can make throughout the day.

"Maybe the first thing is I'm going to eat more fruits and vegetables or I'm going to give up that regular pop," said Held. "I'm going to stop going through the drive-through and cook more at home."

Whatever your goal may be, Held said to focus on the S.M.A.R.T acronym.

"If you're not doing those small specific steps to reach that end goal, you're going to get frustrated and then you're just going to give up," said Held.

Health experts say your first resolution should be to whatever you make for at least 63 to 66 days because that's about how long it takes for it to become a habit.

Michaela Feldmann

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