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Better New Year’s Resolutions with SMART Goals

As we approach the end of 2018, you may find yourself reflecting on past resolutions and trying to set new goals for 2019.  If you were able to meet last year’s goals…kudos to you!  If not, you’re not alone.  Approximately 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by February. But this year is going to be different! We’re going to be sharing a strategic tool with you called SMART Goals that you can use to help you plan (and achieve!) this year’s New Year’s Resolutions.

Common Pitfalls of New Year’s Resolutions

  • You want results NOW!  Slow and steady may not seem as exciting, but if you want your changes to be lifelong and healthy you need to ditch the idea of the crash diet and excessive exercise plan.  Instead, you should focus on 1 positive habit per week.
Use SMART Goals to help you plan (and achieve!) this year's New Year's Resolutions.
  • You don’t enjoy the process.   If you look at eating healthy and exercising as a chore, you’ll fail before you even begin. Find a form of movement that you enjoy enough to do CONSISTENTLY.  For nutrition, your goal should be eating whole, unprocessed foods 80% of the time.  Start by aiming for 5 servings of vegetables each day.  You’ll fill up with plenty of fiber and nutrients which your entire body will thank you for. Also, planning your meals ahead of time will help you stay on track with this as well.
Use SMART Goals to help you plan (and achieve!) this year's New Year's Resolutions.
  • Track your progress.   Keeping a written log will provide some accountability and can help you plan along the way. Track your exercise and nutrition so you can see where you need improvement along the way.  Your goal?  To do a little better every day. 
Use SMART Goals to help you plan (and achieve!) this year's New Year's Resolutions.
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  • Support.  Who are you leaning on for support and accountability?  Some of us can do it alone, but most of us do better if we can lean on someone along the way.  Find a workout or accountability partner or group.  Announce your intentions aloud.  Find like minded souls to support you on the days when it feels harder than it should.  A true journey is full of ups and downs in the road, so be prepared with some backup to help you back up when you falter.
Use SMART Goals to help you plan (and achieve!) this year's New Year's Resolutions.
  • The biggest reason why most New Year’s resolutions fail? Your goal is too vague and you don’t acknowledge WHY you want it. For example, the number one resolution for the majority of people is: “I want to lose weight,” but they never specify how much, by when, or even why it’s their goal.

SMART Goals:

Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely

SMART Goals will give you the direction you need to help you reach the intended result. The more specific you can make your goal and your reasons why, the more likely you are to follow through on it.

Jot down any foreseeable obstacles and PLAN ahead on ways to deal with them.  As stated earlier, the road to any goal usually has some bumps, and it’s much easier to get past them with a plan. 

Today’s date________        Start date__________          Target date_________ 

Specific:   What am I going to do?  Why is it important to me? 

Measurable:  How will I know that I’ve reached my goal?

Attainable:   Do I have the tools to achieve my goal?  If not, how will I get them?

Realistic:  Am I giving myself a reasonable timeline?  Am I breaking my goal up into smaller, manageable steps?

Timely:  When is my target date for reaching my goal?  How will I break down my goal into smaller, attainable steps with goal dates for those steps?

Possible obstacles and plan for dealing with them:

By writing down your goals and mapping out your plan in this way, you are much more likely to succeed in achieving them!

We’re including a downloadable SMART goals PDF, so that you can use it for your goal-setting!

Use SMART Goals to help you plan (and achieve!) this year's New Year's Resolutions. Downloadable worksheet included.

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