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Make your Resolution a Reality. Setting SMART goals and finding your WHY

Jan 03, 2023

‘Tis the season to start making New Year’s resolutions! What’s it going to be this time around? 

Lose weight?

Exercise more?

Eat better?

Save money?

Spend less time on my phone?

These are resolutions most people have made at some point in their lives. If you find one of these on your list for 2023, good for you! It sounds like you’re wanting to make some changes that will improve your overall health and well-being. 

Unfortunately, if you just stop there and say, “This is the year I’m going to lose weight,” chances are you’ll be part of the 92% of people for whom it’s not going to happen. That’s right, only 8% of people who make these resolutions actually accomplish them, and less than 25% of people actually keep working on them after 30 days. 

Those are some grim numbers. But there is good news! If you’re serious about your resolution, what you’ll need to do is dig a little deeper to find your motivation and to set small, achievable goals. To start, I recommend picking up a journal and answering some questions. You’ll write your resolution and then ask yourself WHY at least 5 times until you get to the real reason behind it. 

It might look something like this:

Resolution: In 2023, I’m going to lose weight. 

Why? I want to look/feel better in my clothes and when I look in the mirror. 

Why? I don’t want to have to buy new clothes and I like the way I look and feel when I weigh less. 

Why? When I am lighter, everything feels easier: exercise, using the stairs, playing with my kids. I don’t like breathing so heavily climbing the stairs. 

Why? If I can exercise easier, I’ll be more likely to do it. I know I have to exercise regularly to lose weight and to be strong and healthy. 

Why?  I need to be strong and healthy so I can live and be here for my family for as long as possible. I want to set a good example for my kids. 

Now, that’s a great WHY! Once you find your WHY, it’s time to move on to breaking your goal down into smaller steps. It’s much easier to reach a goal by focusing on small, daily habits than always thinking about the big picture and the end goal. So your next step is to write a SMART goal (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-based) and then decide what small, daily habits you need to implement to reach it.  

Here’s what I mean. 

Resolution: In 2023, I’m going to lose weight.

Set a SMART goal: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-based. The more specific the better. 

I want to lose 40 pounds by December 31, 2023. 

How will I do that? I will exercise more and improve my diet. 

How will I do that? I will go to the gym more and eat more vegetables.  

At this point, you’re making progress, but you’ll want to keep digging and asking HOW until you find small, achievable habits that when implemented in your daily routine, will contribute toward your overall goal. 

I want to emphasize SMALL and ACHIEVABLE. If we don’t break our goals down into manageable steps, they’re much more difficult to attain. And we’re more likely to quit or burn out before the end of January if we overcommit ourselves and try to change everything all at once. 

For example, for someone wanting to lose 40 pounds in a year, joining a gym and eating more vegetables will definitely help! But what does that mean you’re going to actually do every day?. In other words, what action will you take that is 100% achievable? 

Maybe it means eating one serving of vegetables with dinner 3 nights a week. Maybe it means adding in a serving of protein to breakfast every morning. Maybe it means committing to one group exercise class a week at the Y and hitting a daily step goal the other days.  

Obviously, these actions are going to be different for everyone, depending on where you are starting and what knowledge and experiences you bring to the table. If you’re finishing up December having not exercised for several months and have been surviving on sugar cookies and holiday lattes at Starbucks, it’s not realistic to think you’re going to completely change your diet and start exercising 5 days a week and be able to do that all year long. 

Once you find you are consistently doing one of your actions, it’s time to add another one, and then another. 

A new year doesn’t mean you have to go all-in and change everything. If you want to make real, lasting change, it just takes small steps in the right direction. 

If you’re still looking for a resolution, check out this list of 30 ideas for some inspiration. And if you want more advice and accountability on changing habits and reaching your goals in the new year, give us a call or send us a message. We’re here for you and ready to help!