New Years Resolutions – Setting SMART goals

It coming to that time of year where everyone is thinking about the holiday season and having big blow-outs, maybe not exercising so much and generally ‘letting their hair down.’ This inevitably leads to the setting of New Years Resolutions about ‘Getting fit’, ‘losing weight’, ‘giving up chocolate’ or the million other resolutions set every year and broken almost as soon as they begin.

So how can we achieve our resolutions? Simple we need to follow a few simple steps and make them SMART.

Whats SMART

Smart is the Acronym standing for

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Time focused

So exactly what do they all mean and how is this going to help me give up fit, healthy and strong you maybe asking.

Specific

You can’t set goals that are vague. So ‘looking like’ or ‘feel like’ and terms of this nature are no good as they are all subjective to you. It must be specific and set as much detail as possible. Think WHAT, WHERE, HOW when setting this part of your goal. So instead of ‘I’m going to be thin’ try ‘I am going to lose weight, I will do this at home by exercising 7 days a week’

Now that statement is all well and good but how can we make it better?

Measurable

You need to have a destination so to speak, an end point, or at least a point where you can celebrate success. So ‘I’m going to lose weight’ isn’t good enough, we need to know how much weight we want to lose. So either an amount of weight to lose of a target weight (I’m keeping to saying weight when what I should be saying if Fat, but more of that in a future post)

Now our ‘Resolution’ should be more like “I’m going to lose 14lb and I will do this at home by exercising 7 days a week

Let’s make it better

Achievable

This will be all very relative to the person, so our resolution as it is may be perfectly OK, but to say you want to lose 14lb in January may not be so achievable. Therefore a statement like “I’m never going to eat chocolate again” just sets you up to fail, how about ‘I’ll give up chocolate for January, then only have it once a week” or even “I will only eat 1 bar of chocolate a week” both are realistic (you may not agree) and give you room to achieve the goal.

Realistic

Again very specific to the person but ‘exercising 7 days a week’ is not realistic for a lot of people. Who can fit that in, but if you say 3 times a week or even once or twice its setting an achievable goal and not setting you up to fail. There is nothing to say you can’t exceed your goals, in fact that’s half the fun. So set a goal you can achieve, we are all about forming healthy habits and building on them when the time is right.

Time Focused

So the final hurdle to making you resolution/goal bullet proof is setting a time frame, this should include both long and short term goals to give you stepping stones along the way to your overall aim. your long term goal but this should sit like a umbrella over the top of lots of smaller goals. so you should include the 2, something like

I will Lose 12lb By July 01 2013, I will do this by losing 2lb per month. This will be achieved by working out at home at least 3 times a week on Monday, Wednesday, Friday. I intend to do a home workout program in the morning before I go to work. I will also be giving up chocolate for the whole of January then only having one bar a week.

Nice and precise (although a bit longer) easily achievable. All you need to do now is post it up somewhere, tell as many people as you can and stick to it.

Remember, you can set new goals all through the year, make a good strong New Years Resolution that will take you into the spring, then set a new one once you have hit it outta the park.

Stay Healthy

Carl

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