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  • Maddy Belaustegui

ENJOY THE HOLIDAYS WITH SMART GOALS

Live in the moment always, but especially this time of year. Savor time spent with friends and family over the holidays. It is ok to enjoy seasonal holiday meals and treats during this time. What and how you eat over Christmas, Christmas Eve, and New Years is a very small portion of the entire year. It does not reflect the other 365 days nor will it completely derail you from your nutrition goals. Unfortunately many people spend this time already pre-planning a weight loss- related New Year's Resolution. People may eat mindlessly during the holidays because they already have a plan in mind to start some new diet come January 1. But it does not have to be this way! Be in the present. Enjoy your food and company, savor what you eat and be thankful for it, and know that this will not be your last meal. You do not have to over-indulge now and restrict later.


If you do plan to set a New Year's Resolution, keep in mind that weight is not a single determinant of health. Health includes your mental state - happiness both socially and individually. Health also includes your blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and physically how strong, capable, and pain-free your body is. You can be classified as "overweight" based on your BMI and still be quite healthy, perhaps even healthier overall than you may

have been at a lower weight.

Keeping these things in mind, when you make a New Year's Resolution, set yourself up for success by making SMART goals. SMART goals are:

  • specific - choose ONE activity, thought, or action. For example instead of saying "I want to be healthier", try to be specific with "I want to eat more fruit and vegetables."

  • measurable - provide yourself ways to gauge the goal instead of using vague statements. Try for example, "I want to eat 2 servings of vegetables each day of the week" or "I want to practice yoga 2x/week."

  • achievable - think about what you personally can realistically achieve. You do not want to set yourself up for disappointment because you gave yourself a goal you have no real way of meeting. For someone who never runs, a goal of running 5 miles/day would not be achievable and would likely lead to injury. But a goal of doing a walk and run combination for 1-2 miles/day is more likely to be achieved.

  • relevant - your goal does not need to be losing 10 pounds just because that's what everyone else is doing. It should be important to you personally; something you are interested in that will better your life in some way. Be honest with yourself and choose something you will want to invest in.

  • time- bound - think about goals in terms of minutes, days, and weeks. You can always re-evaluate and update goals down the road. An example would be "I want to practice yoga 2x/week, on Mondays and Wednesdays, for 30 minutes."

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