Now that the holidays are coming to an end and we’ve all eaten ourselves into a coma we are approaching the time of year where we reflect on what the last year has brought us. It also comes time to reflect what we want to happen in the new year. The internet is already flooded with images and sayings about how 2017 will be the year. Let’s be honest, that’s what we said about last year. Looking back to your resolutions for 2016, did you stick to them? Can you even remember what those resolutions are?
In a study done by the University of Scranton, only 8% of people who set New Years resolutions actually achieve them. So, what can you do to make sure you are one of those 8%?
This is just a fun little mnemonic check list to keep in mind when you are setting goals.
- S – Specific. Don’t just say “Oh, I want to lose weight this year”. Figure out how much weight you can/”should” lose (I use this term loosely since it is important to consult with a doctor about achieving a “healthy” weight) and then make a plan to go about doing this.
- M – Measurable. Make sure you can measure your progress somehow. Typically, I am not a huge fan of progress pictures (Why You Should Skip On The Progress Pics.) or scales (Why I Threw Out My Bathroom Scale). Find ways to measure your progress such as your energy levels, your confidence, or just the overall quality of your life.
- A – Attainable. This is the one that gets a lot of people. A lot of people set goals that aren’t achievable. Yes, it is true you can achieve anything you set your mind to, but it is also true that some goals aren’t realistic. Consider this: it would be impractical for me to say that I want to lose 50lbs this year. Currently, my weight is around the 150lbs mark and I’m 5’6. If I were to lose 50lbs I would be severely underweight and my body would start to fail. The other concern with weight related goals is that it takes a lot of time to gain/lose weight. When it comes to setting your goals you need to make sure that it is actually possible for the timeline you have set for yourself.
- R – Rewarding. Is this goal going to be rewarding for you? What is the outcome you are hoping for? Are you doing this for yourself or for someone else? These are all important things to consider when setting your goals. You need to make sure that your goal is something that is important to you and independent of what others think of you. Don’t set a goal to make someone else happy.
- T – Time Bound. When you set your goal, make sure you have some deadline to meet. While there is no deadline for health and fitness, have a deadline for small achievable steps. This will not only help to keep you on track, but will also help to keep you motivated.
Given this, how can you make your New Year’s Resolution a SMART Goal?
- I want to lose weight. Instead of this you could try: I want to obtain a “healthy” range BMI by the end of 2017 by making healthy changes in my life so I am more energized.
- I want to run a marathon. While this one is a little more specific, it can be improved by: I’m going to run a marathon in December of 2017. To prepare for this marathon I am going to follow a specific training plan based on my skill.
- I will exercise more. Instead of this, try: I will walk for 30mins 5 times a week.
- I will eat healthier. Try this instead: I will drink water instead of pop AND/OR I will eat veggies instead of chips.
It is always a good idea to set goals. They give us something to work towards and keep us motivated. To make sure you stay on track with your goals, try using SMART goal setting!