It’s that Time of Year Again

New Years Eve is quickly approaching and people are scrambling to make a New Year’s resolution. You know what I’m talking about! Those that say “this year I will lose that 20 pounds,” or “I will quit smoking this year” or ” I will save $10,000 dollars this year.” How many of those people do you know that actually achieved that resolution? Why is it that people wait till the last day of the year to dedicate themselves to one goal for the new year? Can it be a fad, you know, because everyone does it? Or the phase “new year, new me.”

We have heard it all, we might have done it ourselves. Heck we might have actually succeeded in the first month, and then we fall off the wagon. That rush and energy we had on December 31, fades away. Then the disappointment settles in and we feel depressed. We start talking and thinking negatively, and before you know it, you are spiralling down a bottomless pit of misery.

So why do people do this to themselves? Setting a goal is only part one, part two is devising a plan. Have you heard of S.M.A.R.T. ? S.M.A.R.T. is a technique that many businesses use to set goals and objectives for their company and employees. So let us break it down:

S – specific, M – measurable, A – achievable, R – realistic, T – timely.

Let us take a common goal that most people set, “I want to lose weight,” and apply the S.M.A.R.T. technique.

S – Specific.

“I want to lose weight” is a very general statement, so how do we get this to be specific. We can narrow it down to 10 pounds, however that in itself is still very broad. We can instead say, “I want to lose 2 pounds every 2 weeks.”

M – Measurable

How will you know you have achieved your goal? Can you write down your weight every Monday in a journal? Can you take pictures every week of your progress? Can you take measurements of your body on a monthly basis? What ever you decide to use,  just remember to follow through.

A – Achievable or Attainable

Is losing 2 pounds every 2 weeks realistic? What would that mean? Working out 5 out of 7 days, recording what you eat, consuming protein shakes before work outs, paying for a gym membership, getting a personal trainer? Are these things that you are willing to commit to ? If so, then you are on the right track.

R – Realistic

Is losing 2 pounds every 2 weeks realistic? Or is it more realistic to lose inches? Many believe that measuring inches is better then checking the scale. Do you think you will have some bad days and maybe some bad weeks, thus resulting in not achieving your goal. If so, this is a point where you can tweak your main goal so it aligns with your beliefs.

T – Timely

Every goal needs a time line, without a deadline, you will not know if you achieved the goal you set out. So ask yourself, when do you want to achieve this goal? Maybe you want to continue this for 3 months, maybe one year, or maybe you want to make it a lifestyle change. Whatever your timeline is, make sure you incorporate it into your main goal.

So, let us tweak our goal of ” I want to lose weight,” to ” I want to lose 15 inches in 3 months.” I will cut out carbs for breakfast, and go to the gym every other day before work. I will write down my measurements on my phone and measure every 2 weeks. We can see this is a more clear and detailed goal as supposed to where we started.

If you plan on making a New Years Resolution, I hope you found this blog helpful. If you are not making a New Years Resolution and just want to set some goals, use the S.M.A.R.T. technique and see if this makes it easier to achieve your goal.


PS. It is always wise to write down your goal and the S.M.A.R.T. answers so that you have a visual. It will keep you motivated and on track.