Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Living - - THE END OF ALL DIETS -

Make your goals SMART — and by that I mean Spe­cific, Mea­sur­able, Achiev­able, Re­al­is­tic, and Time­bound. They also need to be writ­ten down and clearly cap­tured. Stick a copy on the fridge. Keep a copy in your purse or wal­let. Maybe even make it your screen­saver, so that you see it ev­ery time you look at your phone or com­puter screen. If you know where you’re go­ing, you’re far more likely to get there.

Spe­cific means that your goal needs to be as clearly de­scribed as pos­si­ble. An ex­am­ple? Some­thing like: ‘‘I want to be able to wear my favourite jeans again’’ or ‘‘I want my blood glu­cose lev­els in the nor­mal range’’.

Mea­sur­able means that you will be able to mon­i­tor progress. If your goal is to lose how­ever many ki­los, you will be able to mea­sure this along the way.

Achiev­able means some­thing that you can achieve. The great thing about per­sonal health goals is that they are al­most al­ways achiev­able. Pro­vided that your goal is re­al­is­tic, you will be able to achieve it.

Re­al­is­tic means what it says. The diet goal doesn’t have to be ‘‘or­ganic ev­ery­thing and be­low 25g of car­bo­hy­drate a day’’. Start with ‘‘eat real food’’ and mas­ter this first. Then you can re­duce carb in­take to see what is op­ti­mal for your weight, ac­tiv­ity and health.

Time­bound means putting a timescale on it. This is par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant with weight and health goals be­cause those are the ones we al­ways want to start to­mor­row.

If you want to knock them dead at the col­lege re­union, get your spe­cific goal and then work out what mea­sure­ments you need to achieve along the way to make it hap­pen.

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