New Year’s Resolutions and How to Stick to Them!

It’s that time of year again. The gym will be packed with people who decided to get healthy for their New Year’s Resolution, grocery carts and plates will be filled with chicken and broccoli because we all know that those are the foods that will “make us skinny.” Most of us have been guilty of it, “I will give up sugar completely!” or “Starting January 1st I will go to the gym every day!” or my personal least favorite “No more carbohydrates for me! Carbs are the enemy!”

Not that increasing our exercise or reducing our sugar and carbohydrate intake is always a bad thing, it could really be helpful for most Americans. The problem is that we often end up going to the extreme of these things and then getting burned out or bingeing because we weren’t realistic about our starting point. So how can we prevent these things from happening? Below are the outlined steps for setting realistic and attainable goals for your New Year’s Resolution.

Set SMART Goals

  1. Make sure that it has a Specific and Measurable value to it.Such as: Three days a week I will go to the gym. Four times a week I will pack my own healthy lunch and Friday I will eat out. Monday through Friday I will skip dessert with dinner. If it is specific and measurable it will be easier to stick to and harder to make excuses about.
  2. Set a goal that is Realistic and Attainable. If you don’t go to the gym, start by picking three days of the week.Example: Monday, Wednesday and Thursday that I will commit to waking up early or not making evening plans. If you aren’t used to going to the gym or waking up early for it and you go for two full weeks every day it is likely that you will get burnt out and tired, quit completely and never go back.
  3. Set an amount of Time that you are going to spend on this goal.Example: I will go the gym three days a week for three weeks. I will pack my lunch for four days a week for a month.
  4. Once the time is up assess and reset. At the end of three weeks reassess your goal.Did you achieve your goal every week, sometimes, or not at all? If you did it consistently and think that it is realistic that you could increase to four days a week then reset your goal for three more weeks. If it didn’t work out and you only went once or twice a week then reset your goal to something that you can reach like two days a week for two weeks with a goal to increase to three after that.

The beauty of SMART goals is that it can be applied to any lifestyle change whether it be nutrition related or not. New Year’s Resolutions are a great thing to have but a difficult thing to keep. However, if we keep our goal smart it is much more likely that we will be able to maintain a lifestyle change.

Good luck and Happy New Year!