I'm reading The Spark - actually started over, since it's been a few months since I started - and I thought I'd break after Chapter 2 to work on my goals.
On another fitness website, one that you pay a lot for and don't get any better help than you do from our SparkPeople website, I learned about SMART goals: Specific Measurable A - I forgot A - Attainable? Realistic goals with a Time frame. Write 'em down. That worked well for me. I like formulas. Then you can make them short- or long-term goals.
SparkGuy Chris talks in his book about starting with your core values and beliefs, because if you set a goal or live in a way that's in opposition to your values and beliefs, you won't meet your goals because you can't commit to them. Then he asks, "How can you turn those values and beliefs into a purpose in one or more of your life roles?"
This is a good place to start! I tried Nutrisystem, but I found the food, while some of it tasted good, was full of stuff I couldn't pronounce, and I have a biology degree with several chemistry classes under my belt! I do not believe that you can be HEALTHY eating their food. I value my health more than I value the number on the scale, so I will not do Nutrisystem again. I value fresh food from small farms, and I believe that the food God gave us is nutritionally perfect! So therefore, fresh food should be part of my plan. I also have 3 kids and a husband to feed. So I'm not the only one with a palate to please! So my specific goal has to include compromises between old and new, fun foods and fresh foods.
So a specific goal for my nutrition would be to add fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, to each meal and to eliminate at least one unhealthy food. An easy place to do this would be to have a smoothie at breakfast and dessert. I can also pack fresh veggies in lunchboxes so they don't have a choice of what to eat - manipulation for our betterment!
Now to add something measurable to it...1 fruit at breakfast, a fruit and veggie at lunch, 2-3 veggies at dinner and fruit for dessert (adding whipped cream or yogurt ok!). My husband and I sometimes add a veggie to breakfast if we're really feeling unhealthy or want to jumpstart our diet. We already practice this "diet," but we need to commit to it every day.
Is this realistic? Not every day. I tend to run out of fresh fruits and turn to canned or frozen. That's ok. I'll just stock the healthiest kind and cut myself a break. Could I cook 2-3 veggies at every dinner? No, but a veggie tray appetizer and our favorite steamed broccoli will do the trick. Potatoes count as long as they aren't fried!
Now to add a Time to my goal: Immediately and consistently. Already started! Since this is a lifestyle change, there really is no end, only a beginning.
My most important life roles are
1. Child of God
My purpose: Being healthy improves all facets of me. I'm able to bless my husband and children by helping them be healthy, and I can take better care of them and meet with God consistently.
While I find it hard to sit down and plan, and stick to the plan, I can do this. This is one small step to the healthy lifestyle that SparkPeople advocates!!!