BY MELINDA WILLIAMS
Clipper Staff Writer
CLEARFIELD – We’ve all done it, or know someone who has.
We’ve made New Year’s resolutions, only to break them by mid-January.
It doesn’t have to be that way, a health educator with the Davis County Health Department said.
The trick is to to break resolutions down into more manageable goals, instead of trying to tackle them all at once.
“Set goals that are realistic,” said Tiffany Leishman, a community outreach planner for the department.
Goals that are too large can be overwhelming and can be more easily broken.
She recommends SMART goals: that is, goals that are Specific, Measurable, Action-based, Realistic and Time Specific.
Someone who may want to lose 30 pounds, for example, should figure it’s going to take about 15 weeks, maybe longer, she said. They shouldn’t try to lose the whole 30 pounds in a couple of weeks.
“It’s safe to lose one or two pounds a week,” she said. “Remember, you didn’t get unfit overnight. You can’t change overnight.”
It’s also important to have a reason for the resolution, Leishman said.
If your resolution is exercising more, “You should have a good enough reason to pull you out of bed to do it,” she said.
If you’ve never exercised, it will be hard in the beginning, Leishman said. The first few days, you may be sore.
“Take small steps to begin with,” Leishman said. “Begin by taking a walk. You may not be able to do an hour’s worth of exercise to begin with, but if you break it down into 10 minute increments, it’s easier to say, ‘I have 10 minutes to do something.’”
Leishman also advises that you pick an activity you like to do, or one you hate the least.
“If you hate running, it’s probably not going to work if that’s the activity you choose,” Leishman said.
Whatever the resolution, it’s a good idea to have something to remind you of what your goal is.
And, it’s helpful to have some support. Whether it’s a spouse, a friend, or a child, it’s good to have someone who will give support and encouragement, she said.
Everyone slips up now and then, Leishman said. If you’re trying to eat healthier and indulge with a piece of cake, or don’t exercise one day, don’t give up on the program. Just get back with it the next day, she said.
“Know there’s going to be days when you slip up. You might even make it part of your plan,” she said. “Nobody’s perfect.”