Sunday, December 28, 2008

SMART resolutions

It's that time of year again. I'm seeing those commercials revolving around weight loss, exercise, and fitness. I see those reporters interviewing people about their New Year's resolutions. It's always interesting to listen to these. Here are a few examples of resolutions I heard: "I want to be healthier." "I want to exercise more." "I want to eat better." I think the intentions are great, but the execution is going to be a challenge with such resolutions. This is why I'm going to blog about how to set yourself up for success with SMART resolutions!

S - Specific - Make your goal specific. Instead of simply stating "I want to eat better." Be as specific as possible. What is better? Does that mean eating more fruit? More vegetables? Both? Will you incorporate more fish? Less red meat? What does 'eat better' mean for you? Consider the 6 W's - who, what, where, when, which, why? The more specific you are with the goal, the more likely you will be to accomplish it.

M- Measurable - Make your resolution measurable. What does that mean? Involve numbers here. So you decide that you'd like to "Eat more vegetables." Okay, great. What is more? Is that 2 cups/day? 3 cups/day? When you incorporate numbers, you give yourself a specific goal to shoot for and a way to measure your progress in accomplishing that goal.

A - Attainable - Make your resolution attainable or within reach. At the same time, a powerful goal will also stretch you. This will help enhance your attitude, skills, and abilities around achieving your goal. By setting a goal that is both within reach yet challenging, you will build your confidence in accomplishing the goal and create a cycle of success for yourself.

R - Realistic - Make sure your resolution involves something that you are both willing and able to work toward right now. Maybe you'd like to exercise more, so you decide to run a marathon in 6 weeks. Maybe it's something you'd like to do, but do you really have the time to train for it and train well?

T - Time-sensitive - Put a time frame on when you'd like to achieve that goal. Will it be by the end of next week? Next month? The next 3 months? This will provide a sense of urgency around the goal so that you continue to take the necessary steps toward achieving it.

Finally...write down your goals. I heard somewhere that some of THE most successful people in the world often write down their goals. This truly works. Put your goals in writing, make them SMART, and see what you accomplish!

Happy and Healthy New Year to you!


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