It’s “Quit” Day – How is Your 2024 Resolution Going?

Dr. Shawn Talbott (Ph.D., CNS, LDN, FACSM, FACN, FAIS) has gone from triathlon struggler to gut-brain guru! With a Ph.D. in Nutritional Biochemistry, he's on a mission to boost everyday human performance through the power of natural solutions and the gut-brain axis.

Today is January 17 – the “middle” of January – and “approximately” the day that most people decide to throw in the towel on their New Years Resolutions.

The good news is that the gym will be less crowded next week.

The bad news is that a lot of those “quitters” (which I say tongue-in-cheek) will come to regret their decision to stop – BUT we can help them by reminding them about why they started their resolution in the first place!

People have control over three main things in their lives – the thoughts they think, the images they visualize, and the actions they take (their behavior).

One of the ways that we can help people to stay in track is to help them set goals (and remind them why they set them in the first place).

You’ve probably heard of the “SMART” approach to goal-setting – that goals need to be…

Specific (like – “I will lose 10 pounds – not general like, “I will lose weight”)

Measurable (you can measure “10lbs” – but not “weight” – so you know how you are progressing)

Attainable/Achievable (you don’t want to make the goal too hard – and if you have a BIG goal, then break it down into manageable pieces)

Realistic/Relevant (similar to A – is this within your limits of time, money, motivation, etc?)

Time-bound (by WHEN will you achieve this goal – by July 1 – before the end of the year – helps you judge progress)

BUT – we can make goal setting even better by making them SMART-EST, by adding…

Energizing/Engaging (your goal should not feel like a “chore” – it might be a stretch, but it should energize rather than scare you)

Satisfying/Sharable (you should get a feeling of satisfaction from pursuing your goal – enough that you would want to tell someone about it)

Team-based/Transformative (by sharing your goal with someone else, like an accountability partner, you have an ally to encourage you to move toward transforming into your “new self” – but be careful about who this is because sometimes your friends and family don’t really want you to change, even if it’s for the better).

I like to suggest setting both a “breakthrough goal” (that would represent a quantum leap for the client) – and then breaking that into several smaller “mini-goals” that work like stairs to “step up” to the big goal (all using the SMARTEST approach).

Proper goals should help people “become the kind of person who…” – rather than force them to do something that they don’t want to be doing…

About the Author

Exercise physiologist (MS, UMass Amherst) and Nutritional Biochemist (PhD, Rutgers) who studies how lifestyle influences our biochemistry, psychology and behavior - which kind of makes me a "Psycho-Nutritionist"?!?!

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