With the New Year quickly approaching and many people setting New Year’s Resolutions, although hopefully you read my previous blog entry and will not, I wanted to provide more information on goal setting. Specifically, I want to help you make a plan that will stick, so you will not be one of the 92% of people who make New Year’s Resolutions and do not succeed.

 The first thing to remember is to always PLAN and set S.M.A.R.T goals. Your goals need to be:

–        Specific. For example, instead of saying “I will be more active this week”, say “I will go to the gym 4 days this week.”

–        Measurable. Goals need to be something you can measure. The above example also pertains to this. At the end of the week, you know if you were active on 4 days or not.

–        Action- oriented and Achievable/Attainable. Instead of saying what you won’t do, say what you WILL do. Additionally, the goal needs to be able to be achieved.

–        Realistic/Relevant. Is your goal realistic and relevant? Are you willing AND able to do it? For example, instead of “I will never eat fried foods,” say “I will only eat fried foods one time this week.” Also, is your goal realistic to achieve at this time? Maybe you can not be active 5 days this week because of other commitments, so maybe your goal for this week is 3 days.

–        Timely. A goal needs a time frame. If you want to run a 10k, when do you want to run it? Someday won’t work and someday may never come.

 Planning is important in order to achieve your goals. For example, if you say “I will run 4 days this week,” and you don’t plan, then Monday comes and goes, Tuesday you don’t feel like running…and before you know it there aren’t even 4 days of the week left. I always recommend picking one day per week, maybe Sunday night, look at your calendar, set your goals, and PLAN for that week. Know that your plan for this week may be different than next week.

 So, don’t wait until December 31st to set one unrealistic goal that you have probably tried to accomplish for years, instead think about what you want to accomplish and how you will accomplish it. Think about some short and long term goals for yourself, make sure they are SMART goals and PLAN how you will be successful now….don’t wait. Today can be the first day of the rest of your healthy and new life. Good luck and let me know if you have questions or comments.