Ah, the time for new year’s resolutions. Everyone’s at the gym, making healthy choices and putting their best foot forward. Unfortunately, by March the majority of these resolutions are long gone. To be successfully all year, you have to set SMART goals!
Make sure your goal is well defined. Don’t just say you’re going to start exercising more; that is way to general. Where are you going to exercise? How often? For how long? What kind of exercise are you going to do? A good example would be: “I will use the treadmill for 30 minutes three days a week.”
Your goal should be measurable, so you can make sure you are doing what you set out to do. If you simply say you want to eat healthier this year, there is no way to measure this. However, if you say you plan on eating vegetables at least once a day, this is trackable. If you want to drink more water this year, write down how much you’re having daily or use an app to measure your results.
Is your goal attainable? It is most likely not in reach to lose 150 pounds this year. If you have bad knees, planning on running a marathon may not be possible. I had a professor in college that said she wanted to set her students up for success, not failure. I have adopted that philosophy as my own and stay true to it as much as possible. If I expected my clients to never eat a sweet every again, they will most likely fail and then everyone is disappointed. Don’t set yourself up for a similar disaster.
A common new year’s resolution is to start going to the gym. This is a great healthy choice to make. However, if you don’t have the money for a gym membership, it’s not realistic. You might have to get creative when setting goals to make it fit for you and your lifestyle. Maybe buying an exercise DVD and using it a few times a week at home is a more realistic option.
Set a time frame on your goals to make them more manageable. If you plan on going to spin class four days a week for the rest of time, that can be a little daunting. It may be better to break goals up into chunks. Maybe say for the next three months you want to go four days a week, then you can reassess. After three months you might decide that you actually want to try for five days a week, or maybe you have a lot going on and three days a week is all you can do for a certain time period.
Goal setting is an excellent technique to help you be successful. Whether it’s related to your health, career or personal relationships, setting goals can help you figure out what’s important to you and how you're going to get there. You may surprise yourself with what you can achieve when you have a concrete plan of how to get where you want to go.