With 2019 upon us, it’s time for those annual New Year’s resolutions — the ones that we pledge to stand by so that we can be better in the coming year. We approach the new year with hope and determination to make a positive change in our lives, whether it’s improving our relationships with others, improving our health and fitness, or focusing on spiritual engagement. For most of us, those resolutions are easy to make, but tough to keep throughout the year. Daily life gets hectic, and we make excuses for why we can’t stick to those resolutions, often saying, “Oh, I’ll be better about it tomorrow.” Sound familiar? The good news is, setting goals and making resolutions does not have to be a hopeless cause. If you set goals for yourself, you can attain them with the SMART approach.
- First, be Specific with your goal. Don’t just say, “I want to lose weight;” rather, be specific about how much you want to lose or choose a goal weight. In other words, map out the who, what, when, where, and why of your goal(s).
- Second, make your goal Measurable Find a way to set and track milestones that allow you to see that you are making progress. This may mean writing out a plan and tracking and posting it on your fridge, or talking to someone who can hold you accountable (like your ATH coaches!). When you measure your progress, you can see improvement, and that’s motivating!
- Of course, your goal should be Achievable. Consider how possible it actually is for you to attain your goal, given your skills, abilities, resources and time available.
- Goals should also be Realistic This means you’ll need to sit down and have a reality check with yourself. If you say you want to be able to lose 50 pounds in one month, that’s probably not going to happen. Not in a healthy way, at least. Create a goal – or intermittent milestones (think baby steps, like substituting one vegetable for one bad sugar-rich food each week) – that you know you can achieve; you don’t want to set yourself up for failure.
- Finally, your goal should be Time-bound. Be specific about when you want to complete or achieve your goal. Putting a time limit on your goal can help you stay on top of your progress and be consistent.
If health and fitness are on your resolution list this New Year, your ATH coaches are here to help you make sure you stick to them! Feel free to talk to us about how you can best reach your goals this year. Sometimes, the best motivation to keeping a resolution is just knowing that someone else is holding you accountable and can walk with you every step of the way. Happy New Year, and best wishes for a happy, healthy and successful 2019! By Lana Maciel, ATH Performance Coach