Well the good news is that we are not alone.
A Forbe's magazine online article dated back to 2013 showed that only 8% of Americans maintained their "New Year's Resolutions" for the entire year. Now you may be thinking, "If people are choosing their own goals to accomplish, why does the success rate appear so low?" Some may argue that we, as people, aren't motivated enough, or are too lazy to accomplish a goal. Contrastingly, I believe that we are extremely motivated- if we weren't motivated, we wouldn't set a goal for ourselves! However, I believe that the key to accomplishing a goal is to set it in a way that allows us to accomplish it. Ensuring that the goal is specific, attainable, and relevant to our interests will increase our likelihood for sucess, and it will keep us motivated throughout the year.
The S.M.A.R.T Goal Setting framework is a common, but extremely successful way to set goals in almost any environment. It is often used in the workplace to accomplish tasks, but I like to use it in my nutrition counseling sessions with clients, as well as in my own life as I set my day-today resolutions, week-to-week resolutions, or New Year's Resolutions. See how it works below:
- Specific - use action verbs to truly identify what you would like to accomplish.
- Bad Example: I want to be thin.
- Good Example: I want to lose weight.
- Measurable- quantify your goal so that you have a target
- Bad Example: I want to lose more weight.
- Good Example: I want to lose 10 pounds.
- Attainable- make this goal achievable and realistic to accomplish
- Bad Example: I want to lose 10 pounds by exercising for 6 hours a day.
- Good Example: I want to lose 10 pounds by exercising for 45 minutes at least 3 times per week.
- Relevant- be sure to keep this goal in line with your overall ambition to be healthier
- Bad Example: I want to lose 10 pounds by skipping meals.
- Good Example: I want to lose 10 pounds by adhering to recommended portion sizes at meals and snacks.
- Timely- have a deadline to your goal to keep you on task. If the goal is not met by this deadline maybe you need to reevaluate the timeline.
- Bad Example: I want to lose 10 pounds in 3 days.
- Good Example: I want to lose 10 pounds in 3 months.
- Original goal: I want to be thin
- SMART Goal: I want to lose 10 pounds in 3 months by exercising for 45 minutes at least 3 times per week, and by adhering to recommended portion sizes at meals and snacks.
Other New Year's Resolution SMART Goal Examples: