how to make new years goals

Remember those resolutions you made exactly a year ago? Yeah me neither…🙄
While made with the best of intentions, why is it that nearly all New Year’s resolutions seem to fall flat come February?

What if I told you that the way you create and define your goals is crucial to your success?

Often resolutions are never followed through with because they’re too vague, unrealistic, and have no actionable plan behind them.

While there are many different ways to go about defining your goal, I like to use the SMART formula to ensure that your goal is as clearly defined as possible, thus setting you up for the greatest success! Here’s how it works:

S – Specific

When defining your goals, it’s important that they are tangible. The more specific you can make your goal, the easier it will be to create a plan to achieve it. For instance, if your goal is “to get in shape”, it is extremely difficult to know when you’ve achieved this goal, and therefore difficult to make a plan to get you there. A better example would be, to run 10km, or lose 15lbs.

M – Measurable

One way to make your goal as specific as possible to make it measurable. By attaching a number to your goal, you will clearly know when you are making progress towards it, and when you have achieved it. Examples could be, to lose X lbs, to run 5km in under 30 minutes, to do 3 pushups in a row, etc.

A – Actionable

You should be something that is within your control and that you can take clear action towards. What are some steps you can take to achieve your goal?

R – Realistic

This is extremely important. It’s very common for people to make goals that are not realistic, which causes them to get discouraged and give up prematurely.

When it comes to weight-loss, a realistic measure for sustainable results (i.e. results that you will be able to maintain and keep off in the long run) is between 0.5 – 1lb of weight-loss per week. This number will of course vary depending on your individual body and where you are in your journey (for instance, someone new to exercise with over 20lbs to lose will likely be able to lose weight at a faster rate than someone who has been exercising for a while and wants to lose the “last 5lbs”). Nevertheless, if weight-loss is a goal of yours, this is a good benchmark to start from.

For goals other than weight-loss, ultimately the result should feel attainable and realistic to you. While it’s OK if you don’t know how you’re going to get there (that’s where I come in), your goals shouldn’t leave you feeling completely overwhelmed and discouraged, before you even begin.

T- Time-bound

Finally, your goals should be time-based. While fitness and health are always on-going (this is why it’s important to reevaluate and create new goals regularly), there should be an end-date associated with your specific goals. Giving yourself an end-date gives you incentive and drive to take action NOW. Instead of saying “I want to run 5 km”, you’re giving yourself a deadline to achieve it: “I want to run 5km in 8 weeks”.

Discovering your WHY

In addition to clearly defining your goal, it’s incredibly important to dig deep and think about WHY that goal is important to you. Your “why” is the underlying motivation behind your goal, and is what is going to drive you towards achieving it. Defining your why beforehand gives you something to come back to whenever you’re feeling low on willpower or need a reminder of what’s important to you.

Examples

Fitness resolutions do not have to be related to your weight or how you look. While aesthetic goals are great, I recommend also creating goals that are achievement-based and task-oriented.

Aesthetic
Related to a change in physical appearance that you want to make.
Example:
“I want to lose 5lbs over the course of the next 6 weeks. This is important to me
because my weight has slowly crept up over the past few years and I want to fit back
into my old clothes.”
✅ Specific ✅ Measurable ✅ Attainable ✅ Relevant ✅ Time-bound ✅ Includes WHY

Achievement-Based
Related to being able to do a specific movement or physical achievement.
Example:
“I want to be able to run 5km without taking any breaks in 2 months. My sister runs a
5k race every year and I’ve always wanted to be able to run it with her.”
✅ Specific ✅ Measurable ✅ Attainable ✅ Relevant ✅ Time-bound ✅ Includes WHY

Task-Oriented
Example:
Related to being consistent and doing a specific task for a specified amount of time.
“I want to complete 4 workouts each week for the next 6 weeks. I’ve never been able to
stick with a fitness routine for longer than 2 weeks and I want to prove to myself that I
can achieve this.”
✅ Specific ✅ Measurable ✅ Attainable ✅ Relevant ✅ Time-bound ✅ Includes WHY