We are a week into the New Year already. Are you one of the nearly 45% of Americans who made a resolution this year? Since we are only a week into 2014, chances are pretty good that you're sticking to the goals you've set for yourself this year. Resolutions can be a wonderful tool in achieving what you're after; people who make resolutions are 10 times more likely to accomplish their goals than people who don't. Unfortunately, only about 8% of people claim that they are successful in achieving their resolutions.
We set these goals and intentions because we really-really-really want to inspire some positive change in our lives. The problem often is, we go in gung-ho and the momentum, whether from overtraining, under-preparing, or other discourages, sort of fizzles.
So, how do we work appropriately to ensure that our resolutions (which are almost always self-improvement related) get - well, resolved?
I'm a huge fan of a popular goal-setting method called SMART.
SMART is an acronym for Specific - Measurable - Attainable - Relevant and Time-Bound. Let's examine each of these attributes in order:
Is your resolution
Specific? Instead of declaring, "I want to run more," claim a more specific goal: "I want to run a half marathon. I will start XX training program on January 4." Be clear vs. vague.
Measurable? Your goal should contain a unit that can be measured. A certain pants size, say, or a number in your bank account.
Attainable? Challenge yourself, but within reason. If you say you're going to read the complete Game of Thrones series in 2 weeks, you're setting yourself up for disappointment (trust me. It took me 5 months and I couldn't put those suckers down.)
Relevant? Can you link your goal to other areas of your life? Will accomplishing this goal be genuinely helpful?
Time-bound. Prioritize your time. Set a specific deadline. Instead of "I want to lose weight," try "I want to lose 10 pounds by March 1st. I will do this by committing to a program at Balance Family Fitness" (or, you know, somewhere else.)
Overall and more than anything, BELIEF in yourself is what matters.
You can do it.
What are your resolutions this year? Let me know in comments!
Emily Nielsen, CPT, is the owner of Fit for Motherhood, LLC, mother of 2 little girls, and an optimist by nature.
All posts © Emily Nielsen