Are You Setting The Wrong New Year’s Resolution?
by Monica Heinrichs
New Year’s Resolutions seem like a good idea, but most people can only stick to them for the first few months of the year! Last year roughly 80% of the resolutions made in January, failed by the end of February. By December 2017, only 8% of resolutions had actually been successful. This is not meant to discourage you in any way, but we need to rethink how we are setting goals. If we want to improve, our goal setting needs to improve too!
For 2018 the top five resolutions are: Improve Fitness; Eat Better; Quit Smoking/ Drinking; Travel More; and Learn Something New. These are all great ideas, but they’re not specific enough! In order to make a resolution and actually stick to it, you need to make it a goal, specifically a SMART Goal.
SMART Goals are goals that we use in the fitness industry to help clients create realistic goals that they can achieve in a specific amount of time. Here is what SMART stands for and some questions you can ask yourself while you’re creating your New Year’s Resolution.
S: Specific — What do I want to accomplish?
M: Measurable — How am I going to keep track of my progress?
A: Attainable — Is this goal realistic? Am I setting myself up for failure?
R: Relevant — Why is this goal important to you? What is motivating you to accomplish this?
T: Time-Bound — When do you want to accomplish this goal?
All of these areas are vital to consider, but in my experience attainable and relevant are the areas in which clients lack focus. It is important to create a “big picture” goal for yourself, but you may not be able to accomplish that right away. SMART goals help you create small, realistic goals that build up toward your big picture. For example, if your goal is to lose 25 pounds, when do you want to achieve this by? Healthy, sustainable, weight loss comes at 1-2 pounds per week. So, realistically, the quickest timeframe would be 14-16 weeks. Why do you want to lose 25 pounds? Would your health improve? Do you want to look better? Do you want to feel better? Decide what your motivation is and really hold on to it. Finding out what motivates you can be difficult, but it is essential to making sure your goal is something you actually want!
After you’ve created your SMART New Year’s Resolution, consider who is going to be your support system. Do you have someone in your life that is trying to accomplish the same thing? Having a support system not only keeps you accountable to your goal, but it may challenge you to create more goals along the way! If your goal is fitness related, ask a friend to join you for some workouts, or look into working with a Personal Trainer. If your goal is nutrition based, consider looking for a Nutritionist that can help you with meal plans and grocery shopping lists. Want to learn something new? Look into classes offered in the area. Regardless of what your resolution is, you must put in work to get there. If you are not planning on taking that first step toward your goal, I guarantee someone else is not going to do it for you.
Take ownership, and be excited about what you are working toward! There can be a great deal of stress built up when you choose your goal. Try your best to let that go, enjoy the process and reward yourself along the way! Change is hard work and hard work should be celebrated. Congratulations on your new goal, it’s going to be a great New Year!
Monica Henrichs is the Health and Wellness Director at the Glendale Sports Center. She is originally from Wisconsin and is a Green Bay Packers fan. She is a certified Personal Trainer, Health Coach, and Group Fitness Instructor with eight years of experience working with all types of people toward their health and fitness goals.