By now, statistically speaking, at least 80% of the people reading this post have already abandoned any new year's resolutions they've made. Seriously! Crazy, huh?!
So, with such a crazy-high failure rate, what makes a resolution stick? Your goal needs to be SMART!
Specific Measurable Attainable Realistic Time-based
Your goal needs to be clearly defined, easily explained, and doable – maybe a little bit beyond “normal,” but not something that is illogically impossible.
What does a SMART goal look like?
Let’s say you want to lose 120 pounds this year and get healthier. Breaking the larger goal down into bite-sized bits will make less overwhelming.
S: Take 120 and divide it into 12 months of the year, leaving you with an initial goal of losing 10 pounds in January. Losing 2 pounds a week is a healthy rate at which to lose 10 pounds.
M: Weighing yourself daily at the same time in the morning and using an app to track your weight is a great way to measure your progress. Don’t forget to give yourself grace (especially women) if your weight fluctuates a bit. Hormone cycles and water retention will affect weight. Weighing daily will help you get a clearer picture of what your weight actually is.
A: Reducing your daily caloric intake and/or adding exercise is a wonderful way to create a caloric deficit to lose weight.
R: Consult a physician to make sure this is healthy for you, but generally speaking, losing 1-2 pounds a week is a good, steady pace to maintain.
T: Breaking your goal into 10 pounds a month gives you both a time frame and a smaller goal to focus on to achieve your ultimate goal of losing 120 pounds.
This system can is useful for just about any resolution or goal you might have. Even if you, like 80% of the resolution-making population, have already failed and given up, you can start again. You don’t have to wait until 2021 to make changes you will enjoy.