Are You Ready for this year? You made it through the Holidays, Congrats!
Now what are you doing New Year’s? You have time to reflect, the good, the bad, the ugly, and what you do and do not want to come into your new year. Many of us do what is called New Year’s Resolutions, a pledge or vow of goals for a better you. However, many of us fail to carry the resolution out because it’s like we crash and burn in one month. In January, gyms are packed, and specials flood the media for Dieters and Quitters of Smoking. Then February, you’re back to the same habit! It doesn’t have to be this way. So, I want to help you plan how to do your New Year’s Resolutions S.M.A.R.T.!
S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Conscious. (Note: The letters mean different things depending on who’s teaching; some would say it stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely, but it is all in the same ballpark.)
Before starting any goal, you want to have a plan, or what I tell my clients, a Course of Action. Having a course of action sets the foundation or blueprint to what you are going after. When doing any goal, make sure it answers the following: Who, What, When, Where, Why, How. So we have a structured start. Let’s begin building S.M.A.R.T.
Specific means to be concise and exact on what it is you are trying to accomplish. Let’s use the example: I want to lose weight. You have the goal in mind, but the goal is vague and general. Making it specific would sound like this: I want to lose 10 inches from my waist. See the difference? You specified who’s doing it and what you’re doing. We will now go to the M.
Measurable means to have the ability to track, assess, and calculate your course of action. Having mini goals toward your main goal, or objectives, helps to measure your progress. Back to our example: I want to lose 10 inches off my waist by: 1. Eating small portions 3Xs a day 7 days a week. 2. Going to the gym for 1/2 hour 5 times a week. 3. Doing a daily log at least 2x a day for the next 90 days to track progress. So now you have the who’s doing it, what you’re doing, where it’s being done, and how it’s being done. Now going to the A….
Attainable means setting goals that are achievable. Make goals that will be easy to attain. I will lose 10 inches from my waist. I will lose 1-2 inches in 90 days. As oppose to saying I will lose 10 inches in 10 days! You want goals that will be attainable, not drastic and possibly costly to your health. Who’s doing it, what you’re doing, and when it’s being done are addressed. Let’s move to R.
Realistic means make your goals realistic! Make them attainable and relevant to you. Do not base your goals on someone else. Someone else may be able to lose 10 inches from his or her waist in 10 days because of their metabolism, etc., and you may have to go about losing inches a different way. It is entirely okay! Do what makes sense for you so that it doesn’t affect your overall way of life and well-being. Therefore, I want to lose 10 inches from my waist by losing 1-2 inches a month by changing my diet and the way I diet. For the first week I will eat smaller portions at least once in the week. During the 2nd week, I will eat smaller portions, at least 2Xs per week, and for the 3rd week, I will eat 3 smaller portions, etc. By the end of month, I will eat smaller portions at least 5Xs a week. See the difference? You are breaking it down instead of quitting cold turkey! Don’t shock your body by making drastic moves from what it is used to. Make realistic moves! Who’s doing it, what you’re doing, when you’re doing it, and how you’re doing are all covered. Let’s go to the last letter, T.
Time-Conscious means completing your goals in a timely manner. Two things you do not want to do: set unrealistic time components and set time so far out that you are not challenged or accountable to accomplish them. For instance, you set a goal stating you will quit smoking in one week, when you have smoked for 25 years (unrealistic time component) or you will stop eating chocolate by January 2022 (exaggeration, but still you are nowhere near a challenge to begin quitting the ‘chocolate habit’). Set the time that is challenging and holds you accountable. I will lose 10 inches off my waist starting January 1st, 2021 and end by 9/1/2021.
So put the entire goal together and it comes out like this: I want to lose 10 inches from my waist by 9/1/2021. I will accomplish this by losing 1-2 inches a month for the next 9 months. I will do this by: 1. Eating smaller portions 2. Going to the gym 5Xs a week. In one month, I will increase smaller portions weekly up to 2 of 3 meals daily. I will track my progress weekly. I will check my status every 3 months up to 9/1/2016. This covers the who’s doing it, what you’re doing, when you are doing it, where you are doing it, how you are doing it, and the why is to be healthier and improved!
Note: if you do not meet your goal, go back to the example: I will lose 1-2 inches in the first 3 months, assess why and what. Why did you not lose the inches and what in your plan didn’t work? DO NOT give up OR quit! Simply readjust your course of action and resume. Again, it is about simplifying the way you do things and contouring the goals to fit you! So remember, do not give up or quit, simply readjust or R.E.S.E.T. your objectives and goals to finally accomplish your New Year’s Resolutions for this year and beyond for a New Year New You!