2018 is here. A new year full of new chances, opportunities and resolutions. But how many of last year’s resolutions survived? Did you keep them, made progress on them and did it work at all? 40-45% of Americans make one or more resolutions every year.
The most popular ones are losing weight (if you don’t know where to start on this one, click here), exercising and quitting smoking. Less than half of the people who make these resolutions can keep them until June (1). So how are you going to make them work this year?
A big reason why resolutions fail is that they are unclear. Resolutions like: I want to lose weight, or I want to start working out are great in theory but when you look at them they have very little chance of succeeding.
So how can you make your goals clearer? Try to form SMART goals, this stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time bound.
Specific, make sure your goal is specific so you know when you reach it. Because a resolution that focuses on weight loss is great, but when have you reached it? Make it clear what you want to accomplish, for example 20 pounds. Why you want it, maybe because you want to fit in that dress, and what you need in order to reach your goal (gym membership, coaching, etc…).
Measurable, try to form your goals in a way that you can track it’s progress. So ask yourself the questions how much and how do you know when you have achieved your goal? Numbers are a great way to do this, for example: I want to gain 5 pounds of lean muscle mass.
Achievable, if you ask me this is the most important one and the reason why most resolutions fail. When the new year starts we want everything better, stronger and faster than last year. Some people walk in a gym and expect immediate results. This is setting yourself up for failure.
So be realistic with yourself, a goal of going to the gym 6 times a week is great, but when you have a busy job, social life and other responsibilities there is a small chance you are going to do this. Instead aim for 3 times a week, and when you want build it up to 6. But don’t expect too much in a short time.
Relevant, make sure the goal matters to you. This may sound obvious, because why would you set a goal that doesn’t matter? But you’ll be surprised how many people set goals they actually do not care too much about. Ask yourself is this the right time, is it worth my time and does it match your other efforts and needs.
For example when your goal is weight loss but you are in a super stressed situation it might be a bad time to start losing weight. It can even be a factor why you would not lose weight, more about that here. So always make sure it’s the right time otherwise you’ll be setting yourself up for failure again.
Time bound, after achievable the most important one in my eyes. Every goal need a target date, a deadline that will hold you accountable and give you something to work towards. Decide for yourself when you want to reach your goal. But don’t just focus on your main goal, make mini milestones for yourself. For example in six months I want to be half way there, in six weeks I want to have lost 10% of my target weight. Or even the question: what can I do today?
Now you have a new years resolution that is formulated better than it was last year. Your chances of succeeding have gone up as well! Now it is important to stay motivated, how you can do that you can read here. So start today, and don’t be scared when you mess up. We are all human and it happens to the best of us. The best of luck on your resolutions and share with people that might need this!