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For many of us, the start of each new year is the perfect time to make wellness-related resolutions. Whether your goal is to commit to a healthier diet, get more rest, or find new ways to beat stress, you might begin January with the best of intentions to make long-lasting lifestyle changes. However, statistics show that 80 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail by mid-February. [1]

The reasons we don’t follow through with our health and fitness resolutions can often be because we set goals that are not manageable or realistic. The good news is, there are two doable ways to set yourself up for success!

Goal Setting in a SMART  Way

Setting SMART goals for yourself is important to help you set goals in the right way. SMART is an acronym introduced in 1981 and first used in the journal, Management Review [2] that stands for “Specific,” “Measurable,” “Achievable,” “Realistic,” and “Time-based,” although similar variables have been used. When setting personal goals, using the SMART guide can help you get more clarity and set measurable milestones that help you stay focused and motivated and, ultimately, help you accomplish your goals.

Be as Specific as Possible About Your Goals

Be clear about what you want your result (goal) to be. Your goal shouldn’t be a vague idea, but rather it needs details and structure. For example, if your goal is to exercise more, what days and times will you set aside to exercise?  What type of activity will you do? Will you take a class at the gym, or work out on your own? Clearly defining your goals is important to the next step in goal setting – measuring.

Set Goals that You Can Measure

Using a system to track or measure your progress can help you keep a positive attitude. You may consider using a journal to document important benchmarks and give yourself a reward when you reach them. In doing so, you will be able to tangibly measure your accomplishments along the way and stay motivated.

Set Achievable Goals

Although your goals should challenge you, it is important to make resolutions that are actually attainable. Setting goals that you have the time and resources to achieve can help you avoid feeling disappointed. Depending on how big your goal is, you may also consider breaking it up into several smaller ones. Achieving a series of smaller goals to accomplish a larger one can help keep you encouraged.

Make Sure Your Goals are Realistic for Your Lifestyle

Sometimes we simply set goals that are too high to reach! The “R” in smart reminds you to consider whether your goal can realistically be accomplished. Is your resolution something that you can commit to with your daily schedule? To avoid setting yourself up for failure, make sure that the goals you want to accomplish align with your lifestyle.

Assign Yourself a Timeline

Goals without a timeframe are too open ended and often ineffective. On the flip side, by giving yourself a manageable schedule or deadline, it’s often easier to track progress and stay focused on the end result you’re hoping to achieve.

Commit to be Coached!

SMART goal setting is very helpful, and it’s often even easier if you get help with it in the form of a coach. According to a recent New York Times article, health and fitness coaching is becoming an increasingly popular way to help people stay motivated on their path to wellness. Studies have shown that coaching is particularly beneficial to those looking to improve nutrition, manage their weight, and increase physical activity. [3] In particular, the article states, “Health coaching gets to the heart of what providing good healthcare is about: acceptance, partnership, compassion, and helping patients feel respected and understood.”

If you are finding it difficult to stay on track, you may consider working with a coach who can guide you in making lifestyle changes and strategize how to reset when things get off track. In fact, our SENS Solution® health coaching may be just what you need to get and keep you on track to meeting your health goals. Ongoing support is often the key for all of us to reach our goals.

No matter what your goals for the new year are, approaching them in a “SMART” way and with ongoing support is a great way to set yourself up for success in achieving and maintaining a healthier lifestyle all year.

For more information on how CCPHP can help you reach your goals, fill out the form below and we will be in contact with you.

[1] Marla Tabaka. January 7, 2019. Most People Fail to Achieve Their New Year’s Resolution. Inc.com.  Retrieved from  https://www.inc.com/marla-tabaka/why-set-yourself-up-for-failure-ditch-new-years-resolution-do-this-instead.html

[2]  George T. Doran. November, 1981. There’s a S.M.A.R.T. way to write management’s goals and objectives. Retrieved from https://community.mis.temple.edu/mis0855002fall2015/files/2015/10/S.M.A.R.T-Way-Management-Review.pdf