Joanna Frankham helps you to make lasting diet and lifestyle choices that serve you. She is an AIP mentor and Certified Health Coach who uses rituals and group programs (like her foundational AIP Reset group program, which BTW you can save 15% with the code PALEOMOM) to help you break down the AIP framework into manageable pieces; all to enable you to implement positive changes to improve your health. Jo’s special sauce is her ability to facilitate bringing AIPers together in a way that is informed, inclusive and encouraging. Chronic illness doesn’t have to be isolating. You can connect with Jo on her site, on Facebook and Instagram.
Do you start the New Year with all sorts of good intentions, and then find that they’ve fallen by the wayside by February? If you answered, ‘Yes’ – you are not alone. In fact, according to the New York Times, one-third of all New Year resolutions are a memory by February!
With that in mind, let’s talk about how NOT to lose your New Year resolution mojo by February…
New beginnings have a way of getting you to make rash promises to yourself about how you are going to make changes for the better. Big, hairy, audacious changes, even. The New Year is a classic time for this. And this year, we’re coming to the end of a decade. That means there’s even more pressure to effect positive transformation, especially when it comes to our diet and lifestyle choices.
Do you find your resolutions tend to be based on what someone else, or even society – is suggesting you change about yourself? Perhaps you just throw your resolutions out into the universe and hope for the best? Are your resolutions way too general in nature?
If any of these questions resonate for you, I’d like to suggest you get a smidge smarter about your resolutions. And right now – before New Years Eve is upon us is the perfect time to do this. Want some good news? It is possible to set resolutions and stick to them. You just need to be a bit clever about the process…
1. Get clever about your resolutions
Take a look at the past year and ask yourself the following 3 questions:
- What worked?
- What didn’t work?
- What was tricky?
This is my favourite tool for quickly and efficiently getting to the heart of my
stuff. And it works for identifying meaningful resolutions, too.
Be as objective as you can when answering these questions. The purpose of this exercise is to critically assess your diet and lifestyle choices over the past 12 months. Once you consciously acknowledge what worked for you, you free yourself up to start working on the areas that are more challenging for you. Finding the gaps is a good place to start formulating those personal resolutions.
Hint: we all have tricky areas when it comes to this health caper. Even Sarah!
2. Get S.M.A.R.T. about your resolutions
You’re MUCH more likely to achieve success with your resolutions when you turn them into goals that are both doable and meaningful. And, one way to do this is to make resolutions that are S.M.A.R.T.
Taking a little time and effort to turn your resolutions into S.M.A.R.T. goals improves your chances of success. BIG time. And, ultimately that means better health outcomes for you. Win/win!
The origins of SMART goals
It is generally accepted that the S.M.A.R.T. acronym was first documented back in 1981. George T. Doran, a consultant and former director for the Washington Water Power Company published a paper titled “There’s a S.M.A.R.T. Way to Write Management’s Goals and Objectives”. Since then, it has become a well-known tool for successful goal setting.
If you’ve never come across the idea of S.M.A.R.T. goals before, it is simply a mnemonic for making your goals super-targeted.
That is, goals that are:
- Specific – Well defined, clear, and unambiguous. What do you really want to accomplish? Why is this so important to you?
- Measurable – Make it tangible. Set yourself some specific criteria to measure your progress.
- Attainable – Is it realistically within reach for you? Exactly how will you work to achieve this goal?
- Relevant – Is it applicable to what you actually want to achieve?
- Time-bound – You want to create some urgency around your goal. Do you have a clearly defined timeline, including a starting date and a target end date?
Making New Year’s resolutions S.M.A.R.T. helps you to identify if what you think you want to achieve is realistic. It’s also to help in giving you a deadline (because without an end date, where’s your motivation to complete your goal?).
3. Write down and share your resolutions
There is some evidence to suggest that when you write down your goals (especially in your own handwriting), you are more likely to achieve them. If you bring other people in on your goals, your engagement increases even more.
So, write down your goals. Don’t just ‘think’ them. And then, share them!
When you share your goals with others who understand what you’re going through, you’re literally making yourself more accountable. Seeking the engagement and support of your nearest and dearest is a great way to help you stay on track.
When it comes to the Autoimmune Protocol related resolutions, the very act of you sharing your resolutions with others who understand what you are working towards acts as a form of incentive. This is less about accountability, than it is about getting you excited about the possibilities of creating nutrient-focused and healthy resolutions with other like-minded people who have similar health aspirations as you. It’s one of the reasons AIP Reset is such a great way to get yourself on track with your resolutions and goals – you’re surrounded by fellow AIPers with a shared desire to make better choices. It’s hugely motivating (not to mention fun!)
4. Celebrate when you achieve your resolutions
It’s all very well and good to create meaningful resolutions – but, how will you celebrate when you have achieved them? Why not plan this, too? That way – you have an added incentive to achieve those S.M.A.R.T. resolutions of yours. This can be especially helpful during the times when your good intentions get the speed wobbles during the year. A way to help you stay on track.
And, while you’re planning your celebration, make it good and meaningful. You want something chunky that you’re going to look forward to after reaching your goal.
Here’s to keeping your resolution mojo right through 2020! Happy New Year!
If you’re following the Autoimmune Protocol, the February AIP Reset is your perfect solution for bedding down the S.M.A.R.T. resolutions you make in January!
It’s 30-days of on-line support and camaraderie to help you get back on track after the craziness of the festive season is past. With a focus on creating healthy choices, you’re part of a safe and private online community of fellow AIPers to help you take things back to basics and reinforce the key principles of AIP. It’s fun. It’s informative. It’s engaging. It’s full of people who understand.
Register before 31 December to receive a 15% discount. Simply enter the coupon code ‘PALEOMOM’ at sign up to take advantage of this offer.