October 24, 2016

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Creating Healthy Goals 101

Creating Healthy Goals 101

By Maria England, NDTR, ABS Team Member

As human beings we are always trying to self improve, and this almost always includes our health. We might wake up one day and realize we have slipped out of our normal healthy eating routines or something has happened to get us out of our basic routines. Often times when this happens we try to jump right in, but the best way to get into a healthy routine is to take small steps to reach the big goal.

The first step is to realize the larger overall goal, for this article we will use the example of wanting to eat healthier. This is a pretty big goal! We could just jump in and revamp our whole diet or we could make small changes that lead to the big over all change. 

At this point, a little self-reflection comes in. You could keep track of everything you eat for a day and look at what you might be missing in your diet or what you might be eating too much of. A great example is not eating enough vegetables. The recommendation is about 2.5-3 cups of non-starchy vegetables per day in a normal diet. So after we have recorded everything we ate, we notice that we eat about a cup of non-starchy vegetables a day. We now have a small goal to focus on. That is increasing our vegetable intake!

Once you have found out your goal you want to slowly build on it. A good example is saying, “For the next week I will eat 1.5 cups of vegetables a day”. You can even reward yourself at the end of the week with a non-food related goal, such as buying yourself a new book. Each week you would slowly increase this goal until you have reached the ultimate goal. If you were trying to decrease a bad habit, such as drinking soda, and you normally had two a day you could say, “For the next week I will drink 1 soda per day”. You never want to be negative with your goals because you want to view it as a positive change.

So the basic steps of creating a healthy goal is to:

  1. Determine your overall goal
  2. Discover smaller realistic goals to work on
  3. Create a goal that is a SMART goal, which means Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic, and Time Based.
  4. Set a reward for reaching your goal
  5. Adjust your goal or create a new one each week!

Setting realistic small goals that will lead to an overall large goal will help you create healthier changes over time and build your confidence. It is also best to work on at the most 3 goals at a time, because if you have too many changes at once it can become overwhelming. Another great thing to remember is everyone has set backs, but the best thing to do is to realize it happens. You can also view it as a learning experience as to why you might have had a set back, and find out ways to over come these challenges in the future. But it is best to not let it ruin your progress and to continue to work on your goal! 

Most of us typically don’t eat well-balanced breakfasts due to being so busy! So a great goal would be to increase how many times a week you eat a good breakfast. Adding ABS pancakes to your routine could help you look forward to eating breakfast and achieve your goal. It is also a healthy breakfast since it is packed full of protein and contains a little bit of fat and carbs, which will help you stay fuller longer!

Creating a healthier diet takes time, and when you work on and accomplish small goals, they will quickly add up and you will notice a healthier life!


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