Resolution or Goals?

Celebrating the dawn of a new year is exciting, especially after a year like 2020. It feels good to put the past in the rear view mirror and look forward to new opportunities! Resolutions have gotten a bad reputation in recent years for many reasons. Even so, I am still a big fan of making resolutions, intentions, plans, objectives, or goals – whatever you want to call them!

What are your goals for 2021? Have you made any decisions regarding your own health and fitness goals? It can be hard to pinpoint exactly what you want, which is why you want to spend some time on the process. Some of the most common new year resolutions include:

“I want to exercise more and eat healthier”

“I want to lose weight”

While these ideas make good starting points, they often become the end points too which is the very reason resolutions often fail. Choosing a goal feels good and that’s often where the decision-making ends. That’s simply not enough to make it work! To succeed with any goal, you need to be much more detailed with goal setting. Here’s a guideline for developing resolutions or goals for 2021. Follow the acronym: SMARTS

  • SPECIFIC – Each goal must be detailed. Consider what is to be accomplished, when you want to accomplish it and the steps needed to accomplish it.
  • MEASURABLE – Goals must to be quantifiable to assess the progress being made toward the goal. If you can measure it, you can monitor it and achieve it.
  • ATTAINABLE – Goals should be challenging, but not extreme.
  • REALISTIC – A goal must represent an objective that you are willing and able to do the work to achieve.
  • TIMELY – Set a specific date(s) of completion. There may also be mini-deadlines as you progress from one aspect to the next.
  • SELF-DETERMINED – Is this goal coming from you and you alone or are you taking on someone else’s goal or being influenced by someone else online or in person?

An example of a SMARTS goal is: I want to lose 20 pounds in six months by changing what I eat and exercising 5 times a week. Starting today, I will keep a food and fitness journal to monitor my activities and food choices. I will take weight and other measurements every two weeks to monitor my progress. I want to make this change for my overall health, so I feel better and more energetic, and so that I can take my kids on longer hikes and bike rides.

For the runners out there: I want to set a new 5k Personal Record (PR) at my favorite race in July. I will follow a training plan that includes a variety of drills and monitor my pace. I will journal my nutrition and hydration choices to determine what gives me the optimal energy when it’s race day.

Take time today to consider what you really want to accomplish this year. Write down your thoughts and see which goals make you the most excited. Then, start writing the steps you need to complete in order to achieve your goals. Contact me for support as you develop your SMARTS goals, plan the steps needed to make progress, and start the training needed to succeed!