It’s the end of January, the first month of 2018 and a time focused on getting back on track after the over-indulgence during the holidays. Many of us made New Year’s resolutions in the hopes of bettering our lives for the next year to come or to break old negative habits. While these intentions were great, the fact is that New Year’s resolutions are set up to fail and many already have. According to research from Scranton University, only eight percent* of us accomplish the resolutions that we set. So instead of throwing out resolutions entirely, keep reading this post!
Specific: try to narrow down your goals and instead of “losing weight,” aim for a specific amount such as pounds or body fat percentage. The specificity of your goal will help motivate you and remind you of your reason for change.
Measurable: This goes along with having a specific amount in mind. In order to see progress you have to set a measurable goal, such as a specific number of pounds lost or a number of days per week to exercise. Some effective ways to measure weight loss other than a scale are body composition tests that measure body fat percentage, taking body part measurements, and taking progress pictures. Measuring your progress helps to hold yourself accountable and adhere to your goals.
Action: This is arguably the most important element of a SMART goal. This step includes the daily, weekly, and monthly actions that you will take to accomplish your goal. This becomes the program that you will follow to achieve your resolutions.
Realistic: This involves self-reflection to determine what goals are practical for your lifestyle. While it is motivating to aim high it is also important to consider any barriers in your life and plan accordingly. For example, if you have a job that requires travel you may have to be more lenient on a workout plan or accept that you will not be able to eat 100 percent clean. The more that you realize what obstacles stand in your way of achieving your goals, the more you can prepare and avoid slip ups.
Time-based: This is another step that can help you measure progress and keep you on track. Deadlines can serve as motivators and give you something to work toward.
The bottom line is that in order to stick to your resolutions, you have to work hard every single day. Living healthy and happy is a continuous choice that you make in small and big ways. Try making a SMART goal this year and see where it takes you!
*Diamond, Dan. Forbes.com. 2013. https://www.forbes.com/sites/dandiamond/2013/01/01/just-8-of-people-achieve-their-new-years-resolutions-heres-how-they-did-it/#698c0fc1596b