Updated: Apr 3, 2019
January is the busiest time of year for the weight-loss industry. Nearly everybody is starting a new diet or workout program as a New Years resolution. While in spirit this seems great, the reality of it is that most people will ditch their health goals within 3 weeks of beginning. So how in the world do you overcome this? By setting SMART New Year’s resolutions. SMART is an acronym that stands for:
The resolution should be as specific as possible. The more specific we are, the more likely we are to act. So rather than saying, “In 2019 I am going to exercise more.” Tell your self, “In 2019 I am going to walk 10,000 steps a day and journal my food 5 times a week.” This is a much more specific goal than before.
If a goal cannot be measured then how will you know when you hit it? Measurability is important because it allows us to keep progress. It also allows us to calculate our efforts and adjust them accordingly.
Success keeps us motivated. So, in order to stay motivated, we need to ensure our goals are even possible to achieve. If something cannot be done, than we usually lose hope and quit. That is why it is important to consider how achievable a goal is before setting it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s important to dream big. However, in the world of health we have seen that smaller goals acting as stepping stones towards larger initiatives work better. This mindset ensures sustainability of motivation and drive.
Your goals should be unique to you as an individual. Each of us are at different stages of our health. So it’s important our goals are tailored to our circumstances. If you determine your goals based off your own values, you are much more likely to set goals that are realistic for you to accomplish. You are also likely to be more motivated if you believe attaining your goal is even a possibility.
A goal without a definite deadline is a dream. By putting a due date on our goals, we are much more likely to achieve them. By enforcing timelines, we create a sense of urgency for ourselves. This urgency leads to behavioral change much sooner. And ultimately isn’t that what we are all seeking? To change our behavior.