With the turning of the new year, many people make New Year resolutions. However, the statistics of staying committed to those resolutions are quite low. “Studies have shown that less than 25% of people actually stay committed to their resolutions after just 30 days, and only 8% accomplish them.” (Prossack, 2018) How many times have you seen an influx of people in January at your gym? January is packed, and you have to wait to get on a piece of equipment or into a class. Then you see it begin to taper off in February. By March, it is back to the usual crowd you see all year long.
So, the burning question is, should you make resolutions?
In my opinion, you should be making short term and long term goals for yourself. Making sure they are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Based; in other words, SMART goals.
For example, let’s say you want to lose weight. Be specific about it.
I am going to lose 10 lbs by January 1, 2021.
I am going to go to the gym three days a week for 30 minutes and do weightlifting
I am going to walk, run, or ride my bike two days a week
I am not going to eat any fast food.
I am going to have only one alcoholic beverage one evening a week
I am going to drink soda only one day a week
I am going to eat fresh vegetables with each meal
I will reevaluate on April 1 to see if I need to add some additional items to my goal.
Make sure whatever you choose, you know it is attainable for you. You can have many SMART goals for different types of items you want to accomplish. Some may take longer than one year, others may take a few weeks or months, and you may need to tweak a few things along the way.
I also suggest you write your SMART goals down and keep them in someplace where you can see them every day. Often, people like myself will write them down in a place I don't look at every day and start to forget about them. Having them in eyesight is essential to stay on track.
Share your goals with others. This helps by keeping you more engaged and accountable for the things you are working on. Also, don’t beat yourself up if you flub up once in a while. None of us are perfect, and it is entirely natural to go off course once in a while. Just be sure to get back on track right away, so you don’t completely lose everything you have already worked for.
Have fun with your goals and celebrate your wins. It feels great to accomplish good things. Enjoy!