Setting Smart Goals: A Guide to Successful New Year’s Resolutions

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A national statistic posted in the NY Times stated that over 80% of New Year’s Resolutions are broken in the first 3 weeks. I can already see the numbers fading at The Redmond Athletic Club where I run my nutrition coaching business. The yoga classes I could barely find a place for my mat to rest the first Saturday of January, had a little extra breathing room this weekend, and the pool where I lap swim in the morning had less than 4 people per lane today for the first time since the 1st.

Did you set resolutions or new goals for 2014? How are they working out so far? We are right around the 2-week mark, and this is the make-it-or-break-it time. If you make it into February, it is much more likely that you will make it to the 6-month mark. So, what is it going to take to get you there?

Let’s start with your strategy for goal setting. Making sure you are creating S.M.A.R.T. goals will help to set you up for success in accomplishing your objectives for 2014. Following is a guideline to setting SMART goals and creating an environment of achievement!

Specific- Being as specific as possible will help to focus your efforts and clearly define the outcome you’re looking for. What do you want to ultimately accomplish? Why is it important to you? How are you going to do it? Rather than simply stating that you want to lose weight or read more, be more specific. You may want to lose 10 lbs. by March or read 2 full books a month.

Measurable- If you can’t measure your goal, how will you know when you’ve succeeded? Establish criteria for measuring progress and set smaller short-term goals so that you can see the changes occur. This is a great way to stay on track in achieving your goals.

Attainable- If a goal is set too far out of your reach, it’s unlikely you will fully commit to doing it. Set the bar high enough for a satisfying achievement, but make sure your goal is realistic and do-able to keep the momentum going.

Relevant- Brainstorm for a few minutes as to the relevance of your goal. Why do you want to achieve this goal? What will it look like to have succeeded? What will keep you on track when you feel challenged? Answering these questions will help to give you a focus at all stages of accomplishing your goal.

Time-bound- Set a specific time-line for each stage of your goal. A weekly check-in is a great place to start, then make sure you have the final goal in mind within a realistic and attainable time frame. Without a time-line there is no call to action, no urgency to begin. This is a vital part of goal setting.

Internationally renowned business philosopher Jim Rohn says, “We want to set the goals that our heart conceives, that our mind believes and that our bodies will carry out.”

Everyone will benefit from setting SMART goals to accomplish their New Year’s resolutions.

 

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