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Health “Challenges” May Not Be The Best Way To Reach Your Goals

Is your goal to climb a mountain? Here is how to make an attainable goal.

Salt Lake City, Utah – Ten days, no sugar, no carbs, but then what? The trending “J Lo Challenge” encourages people to cut sugar and carbs for ten days. While not eating sugar is a good thing, Melanie Douglass, registered dietician and co-host of Really Healthy Podcast, said long term goals are a better way to maintain overall health.

On the Ellen Show, Jennifer Lopez, who created the challenge with her husband, retired baseball star Alex Rodriguez, confessed that the whole time she was on the challenge she couldn’t stop thinking about the cookies and bread she would eat when the ten days were over.


Douglass said this is not a great approach because there are no long term changes happening. While you will probably lose a few pounds, it will likely come back when you fall into old habits.

Instead, try setting a goal like “every ten days I will have sugar,” Douglass recommended. This can be a long term change because it is not about deprivation and it is a flexible lifestyle change.

“Try setting a goal like — every ten days I will have sugar”

On the podcast, Douglass recommends following the S.M.A.R.T. goal setting model. She also warns listeners of the traps you can fall into with the flip side of smart goals. She calls them “dumb” goals.

Here is Doulgass’ advice to help you make and crush your goals

S.M.A.R.T. Goals

Specific

Instead of making a goal to get more exercise, be specific and make a goal to go for three walks per week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Go the extra mile and attach and attach a distance, say 3 miles, to each walk.  

Measurable

How will you evaluate your goal at the end? If your goal is weight loss, it is important to attach a number or “goal weight” to it.

If scales aren’t really your thing you can take measurements or have your body fat percentage tested.

Actionable

The difference between a dream and a goal are the actions you take. Your goal needs to be something you can take specific actions to achieve.

For example, if you want to better manage stress a smarter goal could be to meditate at least three times a week for ten minutes.

Realistic

Before you set a goal, ask yourself is this actually doable for me and my lifestyle?

If you want to eat out less it may be unrealistic to set a goal of making dinner at home every night. Instead, make a goal to cook dinner three nights per week and you can move your goal up later.

Time Bound

If your goal is fitness-related it may be something like, “I want to run a marathon.” While that is a good goal it needs a timeline. Change it to “I will run a marathon on a specific date.” Find that marathon and sign up. This will keep you accountable with training and following through.

Douglass’ last piece of advice when it comes to goals is to write it down, say it loud or just put it into the universe. You will be more accountable if your goal is solidified.

If you found this advice useful you can find Really Healthy Podcast online here or subscribe on the KSL Newsradio app or wherever you get your podcasts.  

Watch the full episode below.