The SMART way to keep New Year’s Resolutions

Now that the Christmas shopping, parties, and meals are done for now, there is a little bit of time to unwind before the new year really gets underway. Hand in glove with the coming of this new year are the new years’ resolutions. Have you pondered what you would like to work on this year? How long is your list? Are some of the things you want to work on leftover from last year? How do you plan to make these things happen?

When a new year comes, it feels like a chance to start fresh, a chance to make a new and improved self. As we attack our list of resolutions we start all gung ho in January, then our resolve and energy seem to peter out so that sometime in February or March, our resolutions go by the wayside. And we kick ourselves out of guilt for not getting done what we set out to do.

Maybe our list of resolutions is too long and even a superhero couldn’t accomplish all of them. Or maybe the goals were too lofty or not clear and measurable. There is a way to help you become more successful at setting goals and making progress in those areas, instead of having them come unravelled in just a few weeks.

Introducing the SMART way of goal setting.
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Attainable
R– Relevant
T – Time-Bound

For example, I would like to lose another 50 pounds this year. That is a lot of weight and could be a bit daunting, right? How am I going to do that? I won’t be really successful if I don’t have a plan. Using the SMART plan I can set measurable and attainable goals.
Here’s how my resolution looks using the SMART plan. I will lose 1 pound per week for the entire year by exercising for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week, and increasing my vegetable intake to 3 servings per day. Measurable and attainable, right? Success in losing a pound a week will be an impetus to keep going toward my ultimate goal of losing 50 pounds in the year.

As you progress you might want to give yourself little rewards. In my case, I can’t suck down a bag of Hershey’s kisses after losing 10 pounds. I would be defeating myself. But what about going to a movie or treating myself to a new book after sticking with my plan for a certain amount of time? Rewards don’t have to be expensive or frequent, but it never hurts to pat yourself on the back for accomplishing something you have set out to do.

You can apply this system to any of the resolutions you want to make. Good luck this year on having success with your resolutions! It would be great to hear from you all on what and how you are doing.

Wishing you a Happy and Wonderful 2017!
God bless us all.

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