Do you find yourself setting resolutions for the new year only to bounce off the bandwagon a month or two in? A goal for the new year doesn’t need to be complicated or crazy. Instead, create a SMART (small, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely) goal this year. Here’s how to create a New Year’s Resolution that lasts.
SMART New Year’s Resolutions: Small
Big changes take time, especially when it comes to lifestyle. It sounds easy to lose X pounds, gain a specific BMI number and go all-out with a healthy lifestyle, but giving yourself that much to do quickly leads to burnout. Think about climbing a mountain. If you stand at the bottom of the peak and look all the way up, the summit seems impossibly far. However, if you break the climb down into smaller chunks, say the first big hill, and then to another big rock, all of the sudden, the summit doesn’t feel as far.
Set small goals for yourself to reach your ultimate big goal. When you break your big goal down into smaller goals, you’ll give yourself wins along the way. Keep goals small in order to reward your hard work in a more obtainable way.
For example, start with just adding one healthy snack to your daily food intake (instead of removing an unhealthy one). Or shoot for just 10 minutes of dedicated physical activity each day. Add it to your calendar to keep track. You can also write down three to five positive things that happened during your day at the same time every day. This helps set a positive mindset and better overall well being. These examples show simple ways to improve your life without getting overwhelmed by a gigantic goal.
Make Sure You Can Measure Your Goal
You can’t reach a goal that doesn’t have a measurement. Create a goal that allows you to track your progress. Maybe your goal is to create a long-term fitness routine where you engage in physical activity three times a week. The measurement part of this goal is the number of workouts. Creating a measurable goal not only helps you gauge your success, but it keeps you accountable when the going gets tough.
With today’s technology, it’s simple to keep track of measurements on your phone, or you can go old school with a notebook and pen. Choose a method that allows you to look back on your progress. This helps increase personal accountability and allows you to see just how far you’ve come.
Keep Your Goal Attainable
We all want the perfect life, but some goals are so huge, they need to be kept attainable in order to succeed. You may want to become a professional athlete, but if you aren’t even in top-notch shape, maybe that goal is better left for another year. Instead, take steps towards your biggest goal and create a New Year’s Resolution to sign up for an obstacle race. Creating an attainable goal allows you to take steps towards bigger lifestyle changes.
Remember those examples we gave at the beginning of this post? Those are all excellent ways in which to set an attainable goal. They contain two key elements, small in size and manageable in attainability.
Keep Your New Year’s Resolution Realistic
You aren’t going to become a millionaire overnight, similarly, you won’t magically wake up fit. When you create a New Year’s Resolution, keep expectations realistic. If you have a demanding job with a family, it’s unfair to tell yourself that working out every day for five hours a day is possible (not to mention, it’s not healthy). Keep your goals grounded in what’s possible for you. That way you’ll succeed with your New Year’s Resolution.
Remember the Time Factor
Goals need a plan to back them up (that’s where a personal trainer can help you achieve your fitness New Year’s Resolutions). Create a timeline that gives you benchmarks towards reaching your goal. For example, if you want to summit your first 14er, plan out how and when you are going to train for your big climb. What benchmarks are you going to achieve and when? With time, you’ll have the motivation to keep moving towards your goal.
Bonus: Set Just a Few Strategic Goals
Remember, don’t overdue it. Too many SMART goals can quickly lead to feeling like on gigantic goal. Instead, opt to choose one or two SMART goals for the year. This helps keep you from becoming overwhelmed and will give you a better chance at success. It’s okay if smaller goals pop up or get added to your current goal. Maybe that one healthy snack leads to more healthy snacks and eliminating unhealthy ones since you’ll crave healthier foods. That’s okay as long as it isn’t forced, causing you more stress.
The key to keeping that pesky New Year’s Resolution lies in creating a well-thought-out goal that you can achieve through actionable, traceable steps. Create a SMART New Year’s Resolution this year and create lasting change in your life.