It’s that time again, everyone’s saying: New Year, new you. Whether your New Year’s resolution is to lose weight, exercise more, eat healthier, build muscle, or complete a marathon, the key to success is setting SMART goals.
Research shows that New Year’s resolutions tend to fall by the wayside a month or two after January 1. Why? Because often our resolutions are big goals and we become disheartened when we haven’t achieved them in the first two months.
Use SMART goals to help you achieve your New Year’s resolutions in 2017.
Your resolution or goal needs to be specific. “I want to lose weight” is not specific. How much weight do you want to lose? 2kg? 10kg? If you start off with a small specific goal, you can then create further goals once you’ve completed that one. “I want to exercise more” How much more? Go to the gym three times a week? Do a Zumba class once a week? If you know what you are trying to do it is easier to achieve. “I want to eat healthier” what does that mean to you? Do you want to eat more vegetables? Only eat chocolate once a week.
Make your goal measurable so you can see how far you’ve come, how far you have to go, and most importantly – when you have achieved your goal.
It’s important to set a goal that is achievable. I’m not saying anything isn’t possible but start off small. If your New Year’s resolution is to run a marathon but you can’t remember when the last time you ran was, start off with a goal to run a 5km first. If you want to eat healthier don’t set a goal to eat a 100% clean diet right away, make small goals to help you get to that bigger goal.
This ties in with making your goals achievable. Ask yourself whether your goal is realistic. Do you have the time, resources or knowledge to achieve your goal? If you want to go to the gym or exercise five times a week, will this fit into your schedule? Certainly if you are lacking resources or knowledge there are people who can help. If time is the issue, maybe you can look at ways to make time.
What is the time frame for your goal? If you don’t set a time you want to complete the goal in it’s easier to keep saying “I’ll start next week”. If your goal completion date is coming up it can provide you motivation to keep going. Maybe choose an event like a race or competition if your goal is fitness based. If you’re trying to lose weight is there a birthday or special occasion coming up that you could aim to reach your goal by? In terms of bodyweight goals it’s best to aim to lose/gain about 0.5kg a week for steady progress. If you’re training for a race, find a training plan that you can complete before the event, or speak to a personal trainer about what time frame you can be ready in.
Hopefully you have now defined all the aspects of your goal which is the first step to achieving it!
Written by Gemma