Have you made resolutions and/or set goals for your health this year? Did you get excited about the “New Year, New You” phenomenon that happens every January only to get discouraged or intimidated by your goals within the first few weeks?
You are not alone. Many people struggle to achieve their goals and resolutions every year. However, this is often not due to lack of ability or motivation. Setting lofty goals such as “I resolve to lose 50lbs.” or “I want to run a half marathon” are difficult and nearly impossible for anyone to achieve without proper planning.
This is where the acronym S.M.A.R.T. is helpful. S.M.A.R.T. is a guideline for setting and achieving effective goals. What does S.M.A.R.T. stand for? Specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely are the attributes any effective goal should have.
Instead of saying “I want to lose weight” or “I want to be healthier,” use the S.M.A.R.T acronym.
Specific– Lose Weight. Be more specific by stating how much and how. Lose 10lbs by eating 300 calories less a day and exercising 3 days a week. The mores specific you are the better your plan will be.
Measurable – Lose 10lbs. This can be measured on scale
Attainable – for someone who is a little overweight, this is an attainable goal.
Realistic – again this is realistic for someone who is a little overweight. Saying you want to lose 10lbs in 1 week is not realistic or healthy as is saying you’re only going to eat 500 calories a day or exercise everyday for an hour.
Timely – Lose 10lbs in 8 weeks. This gives you a sort of hour glass to keep you on target with reaching your goal instead of giving yourself the entire year to do it.
Although weight-loss is used as an example here, this principle can be used for any goal you want to set for yourself whether it is health, academic or career based.
It is important to reflect on each goal or resolution you set to ensure it is meaningful to you. Writing down or reflecting on why your goals and resolutions are important to you helps to motivate you to action.
It also ensures that the goals and resolutions you set are worthwhile. Hopefully this post has given you some ideas for how to properly set and achieve your resolutions for 2012. You can achieve them with proper planning!