Happy New Year! It’s that time of year again. New Year New me! I am one of those people, I will gladly admit. I wont go as far as say “New me” as I don’t really want to change myself completely but rather grow to be a better version of myself. Is that wrong for people to want to change for the better? I don’t believe so. So I am here to say, DO IT! Don’t let negative Nancy over there discourage you from wanting to better yourself. I will however, encourage you to set realistic goals so that you don’t set yourself up for failure. SMART goals if you will.
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Once upon a time ago, I was a personal trainer and the hardest part of the new year clients were the unrealistic goals people set for themselves. I know it sounds wonderful to set these crazy goals and actually follow through. What this really does is discourage you completely when you can’t quiet follow through. Which is awful because I have seen people make amazing changes just to be discouraged that they didn’t change enough.
When I set my goals this year, I will apply what I use to teach. Trust me, I set goals for everything! Homeschooling, gardening, weight loss, book reading, you name it! Just be sure to set goals to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-based. This makes following through so much easier. I also make fun little charts and trackers on my B5 Bullet Planner by Scribbles That Matter.
Be specific with your goals and be sure to write them down. I have done this for the past 5 years and I have always been pretty good about meeting most of my goals. If I didn’t quite reach one goal I did my best to not let that distract me from the others. What is a specific goal? Well, it’s basically a goal with a plan. Don’t just write “I want to lose 20lbs this year” instead write out how you intend to do this. “I will lose 2lbs a month through a combination of exercise 3x a week and only eating out once a month.” Specific goals will help remind you of what your doing when those hard days inevitably come.
Measurable goals will help you in your journey by showing you exactly what you want to see through out. It will encourage you to keep going. It is much easier to stay on track when you set smaller measurable goals for yourself. Notice I specifically stated in my goal that I will lose 2lbs a month. This is a measurable number and something I can see through time. Also, working out 3x a week is something I can see and measure. Just because you didn’t workout 3x one week does not mean you failed. Pick up where you left off the next week because you still can meet your main goal of losing 2lbs a month or 20 for the year.
An achievable goal is something I consider most important. This is because most of what I saw was people setting unrealistic goals for themselves and it was the hardest part for them in achieving those goals and for me to keep them motivated. People wanted to lose 20lbs in a single month and never stopped to do the math and break it down to what it was, 5lbs a week. Not only is that difficult, but extremely unrealistic. Sure it is possible but not for everyone. So think about what you want and break it down in something you can achieve.
Relevant goals is something that people don’t think about much. Why do you want to lose 20lbs? Why does it matter so much? Think about those things and determine if your why’s are really that significant. A goal to lose 20lbs so I can fit in my old jeans is great but is it really that important? Maybe to some people it is but what if losing 20lbs, could give you more energy to spend with your kids? Or what if that 20lbs could really impact your health for the better? What if losing 20lbs gets rid of that back pain that affects your quality of life? Think about your goal and really take the time to think about how important that goal really is. Of course don’t forget to write it down.
Lastly, making sure your goals are time-based is very important to keep you on track. While losing 2lbs a month is pretty specific and measurable, it is also a time based goal that you meet each month. You can expand on this goal by adding inches lost, miles ran, muscle gained, etc. All these goals can give you additional overall and time-based goals to track and help keep you motivated.
So I know I’m not a trainer anymore but I am so used to using these examples that it is much easier to explain in this manner. I personally do have weight loss and health goals set for this year. I am very excited to get started on them. I actually set a 20lb weight loss goal for me last year and was just 1 lb shy of meeting this as of this morning. I definitely don’t mind that at all as I made so many changes this year and I feel so much healthier and really the goal was set to better my health and it did significantly. This year I have a smaller weight loss goal and more health conscious goals. This year I will even be setting some goals for my garden, Instagram and for reading.
My point here is a resolution is a great way to better yourself not change yourself. Don’t let people discourage you from bettering yourself.