Can you believe February is already here?! Remember that one time that it was New Year’s Eve and we set lofty goals driven by the highest of hopes? Yeah, me neither. That feels like SO long ago! According to statisticbrain.com, 42% of New Year’s Resolution-ers have already ditched their resolutions and moved on. If this has happened to you before (or is happening currently), then this article is just for you! Today I’m going to show you how to re-group and get revive those nearly dead resolutions! In this two-part article you’ll learn:
- Why resolutions fail
- How to find your “why”
- How to set SMART goals
- How to make your plan and stick to it
First, let’s talk about why resolutions fail. Often times, we set goals that are way too general (lose weight, save money, exercise more), or are so big that we get overwhelmed and give up quickly (This year I’m going to lose 100 pounds!). Another well-meaning misstep occurs when we set out to achieve a big goal (eat healthy every day and exercise 5 days a week) by jumping straight into it and expecting to actually stick with it for the long-term. Yep, we’ve all been there. Without a clear goal and specific steps for how to achieve that goal, it’s no wonder most people give up the ghost before the first quarter! Before you throw in the towel on your resolutions, let’s talk about how to transform them from just a wish to a solid goal with an action plan to achieve it.
The first thing you need to do when you’re setting a new goal is to consider your “why”. Why do you want to set that goal? What will the change(s) mean for your life? When your goal has a deeper meaning, it will be of greater value to you and give you more drive to continue to work toward achieving your goal. For example, losing weight just to look better dulls in comparison with wanting to lose weight to reduce back and knee pain so that you can play with your kids or grandkids. The second “why” transcends beyond personal benefit and allows you to focus outside of yourself when drawing motivation and courage to continue to move forward. Try this exercise: ask yourself why you want to achieve your goal. Now, ask yourself “Why?” again. Now, one more time. Asking yourself “Why?” at least 3 times will allow you to try to dig a little bit deeper to get to your real “why”. Maybe toddlers are on to something with asking “why?” ALL THE TIME… I digress.
Once you’ve got a general idea of what goal(s) you’d like to set and why you want to set those goals, it’s time to put the pen to paper and write out some SMART goals. Seriously, get out a pen and paper and write it down! What are SMART goals? Well, I’m so glad that you asked! Here is what the acronym stands for:
Specific (What exactly do you want to achieve?)
Measurable (How will you measure your progress?
Action-oriented (What will you have to do to achieve this goal?)
Realistic (Is your goal actually realistic?)
Time-bound (by when would you like to achieve the goal?)
Here is the generic version of a goal followed by the more specific SMART version of the same goal:
Generic: This year I want to lose weight
SMART: By December 31st, 2018, I will lose 20 pounds by eating at least 5 servings of vegetables per day and walking for 30 minutes a day at least 5 days a week.
The SMART goal is specific (lose 20 pounds), measurable (measured by weight, number of servings of vegetables, and minutes of exercise per day), action-oriented (losing weight by eating vegetables and exercising), realistic (losing 20 pounds in 52 weeks is reasonable assuming that the individual has 20 pounds to lose), and time-bound (by December 31st, 2018).
It’s your turn: Apply what you’ve learned!
Let’s re-cap with the activities you need to complete to resurrect your resolutions:
- Think about what you’d like to achieve and define your “why”.
- Get specific and turn that goal into a SMART goal by following the guidelines above. Write down your goal and keep it somewhere visible so that it stays at the forefront of your mind.
Stay tuned for next week’s blog to learn how to take the next step and make a plan to achieve your goals. New articles will be posted every Friday! If you’ve got a topic you want to see discussed here, let us know in the comments below.
Stay healthy and fit, my friends!