December 16, 2020

A Smarter Strategy for New Year’s Resolutions

Amy Myrdal Miller, MS, RDN, FAND

About the author

Amy Myrdal Miller has lived well with Type I diabetes since age 7. A registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN), Amy has focused her professional work on promoting food and lifestyle choices that promote good health. She is the founder of Farmer’s Daughter Consulting, an agriculture, food, and culinary communications firm. Clients include Hinoman USA. A farmer’s daughter from North Dakota, today she and her husband live near Sacramento, CA, with their two super naughty cats Violet Grey and Schroeder, a.k.a., the Kittens with Mittens.

A Smarter Strategy for New Year’s Resolutions

Along with holiday excitement December also brings thoughts of resolutions for the new year. Many people focus their resolutions on health and wellness goals, but most people abandon their good intentions within the first month or two of the new year. To enhance your success at achieving your goals, try using the S.M.A.R.T. system to set your goals. This acronym stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based.

 

Let’s say you want to boost your vegetable intake. Now you need to focus on the S.M.A.R.T. elements that will make this goal a reality. Here’s what this could look like.

 

1.  I want to boost my intake of dark green leafy vegetables because of their nutrition attributes and many potential health benefits. Here the specificity is focused on dark green leafy vegetables versusall vegetables.

 

2.  I’m going to boost my intake of dark green leafy vegetables by eating one additional serving every day. Good. You added two measurement units so you can easily track progress towards your goal.

 

3. I’m going to focus on using frozen dark green leafy vegetables because they help me reduce food waste and I can always have them on hand in my kitchen. Brilliant! You’ve just made your goal achievable. You can’t eat dark green leafy vegetables if you don’t have them available, right?

 

4.  I’m going to add them to foods I already eat and recipes I make regularly like smoothies,soups, salads, and eggs. Perfect! You’ve made your goal relevant to habits you’ve already formed and follow.

5.  I’m going to shop online for frozen dark green leafy vegetables every week to ensure I always have them on hand. This time-based focus of making sure youhave the frozen dark green leafy vegetables in your home is a critically important part of achieving your goal.

You can use the S.M.A.R.T. system for setting goals for any area of your life, but as a registered dietitian nutritionist, I hope you’ll focus first on nutrition and lifestyle goals that boost your health and happiness!