This will be the year, unlike every other year, when you will finally make a resolution and stick to it. The problem with most resolutions is that they are too large of a change. This year, make a small, meaningful, change in your life that will last. This year you are going to be SMART about your goal. You are going to create a Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Rewarding, and Time bound goal.
Specific- The more specific the goal, and more importantly, the more specific of an action you will take towards your goal, the better. Deciding you want to lose weight is good, but not creating a process of how you are going to lose the weight, is setting yourself up for failure. Instead of saying I want to eat healthier, make the decision to eat more vegetables at supper or pack a lunch more often. Creating the small planned steps towards your goal makes the goal more achievable.
Measureable- Being able to measure your progress lets you see the small improvements towards your final goal. If you are trying to lose 20 lbs, being able to see the scale slowly go down can help motivate you towards meeting your goal weight.
Attainable- Your goal needs to be reasonable and within reach. Wanting to run a marathon is an admirable long-term goal, but if you haven’t ran since high school gym class, a marathon is out of your reach, at least for the time being. Your goal shouldn’t be easy, it should require thought and some effort, but creating a too large of a goal will not help you.
Rewarding- Allow yourself to feel a sense of accomplishment. Achieving a goal is very rewarding, especially if you finally achieve something you’ve wanted for a long time. Finally completing the 5k you’ve always talked about doing will give you a sense of pride and accomplishment, which will then motivate you to keep pushing yourself.
Time-bound- Similarly to Measurable, being able to assess your progress throughout the process with small improvements can push you to keep going. Use a calendar to track daily progresses you’ve made, and plan out treat days to give you something to look forward to.
Now here’s an example: “I want to lose weight“.
The problem here is that you have nothing to work with. Instead, try to be SMART and make a concrete goal like this:
Specific- “I will lose 10 lbs by May 1st by eating more vegetables and drinking less pop”. You’ve given yourself a specific number to lose and a way to do it.
Measureable- I will increase the vegetable intake 3 days of the week, and drink water with supper instead of pop the other 4 days of the week.
Attainable- 5 months to lose 10 lbs is very doable if you improve your eating habits.
Rewarding- I will buy myself something nice once I lose the weight
Time Bound- I will take a picture of myself on the first day and once I’ve lost the weight. As well, I will record my weight every time I weigh myself. I will use a calendar to record the data and when my next cheat day is for motivation.
Now let’s be SMART this year when making (and keeping) our New Year’s resolutions!