It’s that time of year, y’all. Time to make your New Year’s resolutions. The time of year when everyone talks about working out more, eating better, and just generally getting healthier. Do these sound like goals you’ve set before? How long did you last?
Part of setting new goals and resolutions is making sure that you are setting yourself up for success, not failure. In order to have long-term success, you need to be clear about what you want to accomplish. That’s where S.M.A.R.T goals come in.
Using the S.M.A.R.T goal-setting process, you can avoid being part of the 60% of people who give up on their resolutions after 6 months.
S: Specific – your goal should be clear and easy to understand. “Get healthy” and “lose weight” are too broad. Pick a specific number of pounds you want to lose by a certain date, or decide on something to work towards such as a 5K. For example, “I will lose ‘x’ pounds” NOT “I will lose weight”.
M: Measurable – make sure you can track your progress. How many pounds do you want to lose per week? How many miles do you want to run per week? Add a number to your goal to make it measurable. For example, “I will lose ‘x’ pounds per week” or “I will run ‘x’ miles per week.”
A: Attainable – make sure your goal is realistic. If you set your goal too high, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Setting a goal that is too easy will not be very motivating. Remember, healthy weight loss is 1-2 pounds per week!
R: Relevant – set goals that are relevant to you, not something that someone else is pressuring you to do. Then you don’t be motivated to do it! You also have to make sure it’s a good time in your life to focus on the goal you choose. If you don’t have time for a certain goal, don’t make it! Choose something that is motivating to you! For example, “I WANT to lose ‘x’ pounds” NOT ” ‘x’ WANTS ME to lose ‘x’ pounds”
T: Time – include an endpoint. Put yourself on a timeline. Knowing that you have a deadline and “check-in” points will motivate you to get started and keep you motivated to finish. For example, “I will lose ‘x’ pounds by June 1” NOT “I will lose weight by summer”.
Some examples of good S.M.A.R.T goals are:
- I will walk for 30 minutes, 3 days a week, each week
- I will drink water instead of soda 5 days per week
- I will lose 1-2 pounds per week
- I will bring my lunch to work instead of eating out 4 days per week
Everyone’s resolutions will be different. I don’t usually tell people my resolutions, preferring to keep them to myself. Whether you tell people or not is totally up to you! If you’re someone who needs outside motivation and support, definitely tell some close friends or family. Work with a personal trainer or nutrition coach and tell them your goals. There is absolutely no shame in asking for help, especially if it will make you more successful in the long run!
I hope that you’ve all thought about what changes you might want to make in 2017. If you need help with any of them, do not hesitate to reach out to me! I would love to help in any way that I can, not only with fitness and nutrition goals.
Good luck, Happy New Year, and be SMART about your goals this year!