- First things first, get out a pen and paper (or your computer/tablet) and get ready to WRITE your goals down. It will keep you focused and committed (more tips on keeping your resolution in Part 2!)
- Next, write down all the things you succeeded with in 2013, even if they weren’t New Year’s resolutions. Write down 3 things that your successes had in common: was it your motivation, was it due to a rewards system, etc… Focus on the positive strides you made in 2013.
- Now’s the part we all love - write down the goals you’d like to accomplish this year in all aspects of your life, for example fitness, relationships, work.
- OK, now that you’re in a positive frame of mind and have an idea of what you’d like to work on, let’s talk about the nitty-gritty of your resolutions in 2014. For each goal you’ve written down we’re going to take it through the ‘SMART’ system. This acronym will help you define your goals in an achievable manner.
o S – Specific. “I want to be healthy” is a fantastic goal, but to really give yourself a game plan you can say “I want to work out 3 times per week and have 6 servings of fruits and vegetables each day.” The more specific your goal is the more likely it is you will keep it.
o M – Measurable. How will you determine when you meet your goal? Is it when you’ve lost 10 lbs? You can walk up a flight of stairs without getting winded? Count up your vegetables, are you getting what you specified over a period of 6 weeks? If your goal can not be measured it is hard to feel completion.
§ As a side note, there are some goals, especially of the psychological variety, that are harder to measure. If you are trying to be happier, or keep a more positive outlook, try to think of standards that you can use to help keep you on track. Maybe it’s that you take 30 minutes of ‘me time’ each day or you can keep a journal to log how you’re feeling.
o A – Attainable. The attainability of a goal largely depends on what skills you have, your attitude, and sometimes your financial capacity. Almost any goal is within your reach, but identifying areas that might be more challenging will give you an idea of what needs to be developed in order to reach your goals.
o R – Realistic. Dream BIG! If you have a goal that seems too farfetched, figure out how to make it part of your reality. More often than not if you are willing and able you can accomplish big goals, and not only that, studies have shown that people are more motivated by goals that stretch them than by things they know they can easily accomplish.
o T – Timely. Give yourself a time frame so you feel some urgency to complete your goals. Take “I want to run a marathon” and make it “I will run a marathon in October.” Take “I want to get a promotion at work” to “I will get a promotion at work by June. You can take larger goals and make smaller ones along your timeline to keep checking them off and keeping yourself motivated.
Take the parts of this plan that you feel really apply to you and use them as tools. Work SMART, and this goal setting strategy will set you up for success this year! Look for tomorrow’s Bright Fitness blog for action steps to ensure that you complete and surpass each of your goals in 2014!