With a new year, comes the flood of New Years Resolutions. We all know that “I will work out” is one of the top resolutions that people make. We see it. The gyms are full during the month of January. But somewhere around the first week of February, it starts to thin out. And by the end of February, the gyms are empty. It’s because people are not making resolutions that they will stick to!
THE NUMBERS DON’T LIE
Approximately 50% of Americans make New Years Resolutions. Of that 50%, 88% of those people fail to stick to them and give them up within the first month of the year.
RESOLUTIONS DON’T WORK
The first mistake is that people are making resolutions that are too broad:
“I want to eat healthy.”
“I want to exercise more.”
“I want to spend more time with my wife.”
“I want to pay down my debt.”
We cannot continue to create resolutions this way. The best way to make a major change in our lives is to make a change in the way we think about resolutions. We need to think of them as “GOALS”, not resolutions. By doing this, we’re more likely to succeed!
That’s because with a goal, it is very specific and when it’s specific, then it is measurable. If we’re able to measure the progress as we go, we’re more likely to stick to the actions necessary to achieve the goal. And when we do this, then we will be less likely to drop the goal because we lose interest.
GET SMART ABOUT GOALS
To dive even deeper into how to create goals for ourselves, we can look at a method that works! It’s called S.M.A.R.T. GOALS and when we create goals with this method, we will succeed and achieve our goals more often.
Let’s take the following goal and look at how we can make it a S.M.A.R.T. GOAL: “I want to get healthy”
S = Specific
The goal needs to be clearly defined to know what the outcome should be. What are we trying to accomplish and when will we accomplish it by? What actions are needed to accomplish this goal?
M = Measurable
The goal needs to be quantifiable. There has to be a way to access the progress. The goal, and related actions, cannot be managed appropriately, if it can’t be measured.
A = Attainable
The goal has to be challenging for us, but it cannot be too extreme that there is no possible way that we can accomplish it. It cannot be too easy either. It has to challenge us so that we can push ourselves and grow as a person.
R = Realistic
A realistic goal is something that we are both ‘willing’ and ‘able’ to work towards. Do we truly believe we can accomplish this goal? Is there something like this that we’ve achieved in the past that we can equate this goal to?
T = Timely
There has to be a specific date of completion! You have to set goals today that you will complete in the next three months, six months, one year!
So, what about our original goal of “I want to get healthy.”
To make this a S.M.A.R.T. GOAL, we have to make it specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely.
How about “I will lose 15 pounds by March 1st by exercising three times every week and reducing my daily calorie intake to 1,300 calories.”
NOW THAT’S A S.M.A.R.T. GOAL! It’s very specific. We can unequivocally measure it. It’s definitely attainable. Absolutely realistic. And certainly timely!
GO MAKE SOME S.M.A.R.T. GOALS
Look back at the resolutions you made this year and see which ones you can transform into S.M.A.R.T. GOALS!
Let me know what goals you’ve set for yourself below in the comments section!
As a personal trainer, I love to keep my clients accountable for the goals they set for themselves. It’s powerful when you put them in writing!