Resolutions That Stick
Have you ever given up on a resolution because it just didn’t fit your schedule? Sometimes it’s just not realistic to start devoting an extra two hours to healthy eating and exercise when already balancing family time with a demanding work schedule. This year, we encourage you to simplify your resolution list because, all too often, we set ambitious goals that fail to hold past January.
You might have an ideal image of yourself for 2020, but remember that significant life changes take longer than just a year. Instead of fizzling out early, try these tips to plan resolutions with staying power.
Start slow, then build
Say you have the goal to lose ten pounds by spring. Take a step back and consider the realistic daily actions and habits needed to make weight loss happen. Perhaps you start ordering sparkling water instead of sweetened beverages. What if you pack your workout clothes the night before, so you’re prepared for the gym in the morning? How about cooking extra veggies at dinner for lunch the following day so you can avoid ordering fast food?
When we break down loftier goals into attainable daily actions, we’re more apt to acknowledge the small positive changes that ultimately propel us forward.
Changing something about your lifestyle doesn’t mean you need to give up the things you enjoy. Find ways to work new healthy habits into your established routine. For example, if you have the goal to exercise more, pair running workouts on the treadmill with your favorite streaming TV show.
Make it SMART
Grab a pen and paper and write about your goal(s) in the SMART format. Written SMART goals help you dive into the details of your goal to develop a realistic action plan. Start by thinking of something you’d like to accomplish, then consider the following:
- Specifics: What exactly do you want to achieve? Answer who? What? When? Where? Why? And how?
- Measurable: What will you measure to track your progress? For example, you could measure a quantity or an amount of time or distance.
- Attainable: Is this goal realistic for you? If not, what can you change about your goal to make it achievable?
- Relevant: Is this goal truly important to you? The more relevant a goal is to your life, the more likely you are to achieve it.
- Timely: Set a specific target date for achieving this goal.
Take the SMART process a step further by writing down challenges and barriers you may face along the way, then think about how you will overcome them.