There’s a reason why New Year’s resolutions don’t work for the majority of people. Just 9% of people actually achieve their New Year’s resolution. What is a resolution anyway? The Oxford dictionary defines a resolution as a firm decision to do or not to do something.
The problem with New Year’s resolutions is they are not always realistic. Setting realistic goals is more effective than a resolution. A goal is attainable. A firm decision when it comes to your health invites deprivation, unhealthy habits or relationships with food. An all or nothing approach can set you up for failure. I believe an 80-20 approach to healthy eating is more realistic anyway. Consuming the healthiest options available to you 80% of the time and the other 20% of the time it’s okay to indulge a little. This approach allows you to balance your day to day life. It is not as restrictive and allows you to occasionally enjoy your favourite foods.
I love to use the SMART goal approach to goal setting. Goals that are SMART are easier to attain and provide you with a sense of accomplishment to tackle your next goal. What is a SMART goal?
S – Specific
Goals that are clearly defined are easier to measure, track and obtain. Ask yourself the Five W’s.
What do you want to achieve?
Why do you want to achieve the goal?
Who is involved?
Where will you achieve the goal?
Which resources do you require?
M – Measurable
Progress is measured. That is why I encourage my clients to do body composition measurements before starting one of my programs.
How will you know if it is obtained?
A – Achievable
It is important to set goals that are possible. Goals that are out of your reach only set you up for failure.
How will you achieve this goal?
R – Realistic
Goals should be realistic for what you’re capable of achieving. Achievable goals are realistic.
Does the goal seem attainable?
T – Timely
Having a time-frame to complete your goal gives you an end date to strive for. It creates some urgency and motivation to have a date to reach your goal.
When do you really want to achieve your goal?
Using this strategy to set goals can be extremely beneficial in setting you up for success in the New Year or any time of year for that matter. SMART goals can be used in every aspect of your life, not just your health. I suggest writing your SMART goals down and posting them somewhere you can see them every day.
Start the New Year off SMART!