Each year, many of us make a New Year’s resolution to live healthier. And why not? The start of a new year is the perfect time to begin a diet or put that exercise plan to work. We all have high hopes of living up to our resolutions. However, according to research, half of us fail to keep them past January 31.
It’s not about a lack of willpower. It’s more about creating habits that will keep you on track and setting attainable, smaller goals to help reach that big goal. It’s about being SMART.
SMART is an acronym of five elements created to help people develop good habits to make positive changes in their lives. When you make the SMART method part of your plan, you may find it easier to realize your resolutions.
It’s easy to say “I want to be healthier this year.” To be successful, though, you need to be specific in setting your goal. Perhaps getting healthier for you is about losing weight. Or, maybe it means having a consistent workout routine.
Once you set your specific goal, you need to determine how to measure it. A quantifiable goal is to lose 50 pounds. When you have something to reach for, you can see your success along the way.
Now that you have your specific, measurable goal, determine how you’ll achieve that goal. It’s much easier to set smaller, achievable goals along your journey. For instance, losing 50 pounds may seem daunting. Setting smaller benchmarks, such as decreasing how many soft drinks you have each week or walking 30 minutes three times a week for a month, is an excellent place to start. As you reach those benchmarks, set new ones. It’s essential to not overreach with your benchmarks at the beginning. You may end up getting frustrated and giving up if you’re unable to meet them. When you set smaller goals, you celebrate reaching them, and look forward to reaching the next ones, and that creates consistency.
When you attach a reason or motivation to your goal, that makes it even more important to you –such as losing weight before a once-in-a-lifetime trip coming up or a high-school reunion.
It all comes down to when you want to achieve your goal. Set your deadline and work towards it.
Make a SMART plan, be consistent, and be accountable to someone who will encourage your journey. And, remember, you can do this!
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