We’re almost two months into 2018. How are you feeling about your new year’s resolutions?
Did you kick off the year with an enthusiastic resolution to lead a healthier lifestyle; whether it was to lose weight, eat more vegetables, or exercise more?
Chances are, some of the gusto with which you ushered in the new year has escaped and you’re not as focused on your goal as you were in January. According to U.S. News, close to 80% of new year’s resolutions fail by the second week of February.
Don’t beat yourself up. Your resolution may have failed, but that doesn’t mean YOU have failed. Taking a step to improve your health is just as powerful on March 1st as it is on January 1st.
Now is the perfect time to re-evaluate your original resolutions. Frame them in a different way that will increase your chance for success.
For example, “Eat healthier” or “exercise more” are wonderful aspirations, but as goals, they just aren’t SMART. In this sense, SMART is not judgmental. It is an acronym that stands for:
Specific: what exactly do you want to achieve, beyond being more healthy?
Measurable: can you track your success?
Accountable: did you commit the goal to writing or share it with a friend?
Relevant: is the goal something that meaningfully improves your life?
Timely: can you establish a timeframe so you have an endpoint at which to celebrate and evaluate?
Here’s what SMART resolutions look like:
- Eat a full four servings of vegetables every day for the next two weeks
- Walk at least 45 minutes per day, four days per week for the next month
These are both SMART and very effective initial steps toward better health.
Setting SMART goals in lieu of year-long broad resolutions will significantly increase the likelihood of success. Framing your resolutions this way also allows you to build momentum. Get some small wins, then build on those. Achieve a SMART goal, then each month set another that pushes you a bit further.
When December 31st comes around, maybe you won’t have a perfect record of day-after-day health improvement activities, but could you have some solid small wins that add up to make this year better than the last? Of course – just think SMART!