Written by: Brittany Lyonette
As we discussed in last month’s newsletter, approximately 80% of New Year's resolutions fail. Now that we are moving into February, it’s time to check in with the goals you set for yourself at the beginning of January. Have you taken steps toward reaching your goals, or after only a month, do you feel as if another one bit the dust?
If the voice of Frankie Mercury is bouncing around in your head with lingering undertones of “I told you so” behind each verse, BLOCK HIM OUT! The road to success is lined with setbacks, and true failure only comes when we give up.
Let’s examine some of the reasons why so many resolutions are thrown to the curb come February by looking at the S.M.A.R.T. goal-setting principles. Let’s use a weight loss goal as an example.
1. S - Specific
Saying you’re going to lose weight is too vague. It’s uninspiring and gives you nothing to hold yourself accountable to. To make your goal stick, you have to get more specific. Think of your who, what, when, where, and why’s:
A specific weight loss goal could be: “I will lose 10 lbs by the end of March by working out three times a week with MFF and walking for 30 minutes every day. This is important to me because I want to have more energy to do everyday tasks and to feel confident that my health is in my control.”
2. M - Measurable
How will you know when you are seeing success? A huge reason people feel discouraged when they are working hard to achieve something is that they haven’t outlined how they will measure success; they haven't set a specific target and have no clue if they are moving the needle or not.
For weight loss, you can use the weight on your scale, but it can be deceiving sometimes as you gain muscle mass and the numbers don’t shift in the way you expect. Instead, consider taking monthly progress photos, taking your measurements, or even noticing how your clothes are fitting.
3. A - Attainable
I think it can be easy to take this one for granted. There is nothing wrong with setting big goals; however, if your goals are unachievable, you are setting yourself up for failure. For instance, if your goal is to lose 20 lbs in a week, then this is not only unhealthy but also pretty unattainable through the means of diet and exercise. An attainable weight loss goal is 4-8 lbs a month.
4. R - Realistic
Once you’ve set yourself an attainable goal, it’s now time to ask yourself if this goal is realistic in regards to the resources and time you have available. You can think of this step as reverse engineering your goal. In this example, we’ve made the goal to lose 10 lbs (averaging 4-8 lbs loss a month) by working out three days a week and walking everyday for 30 minutes. Your next step is to break down each section and ask yourself, “On a scale of 1-10, how confident am I that I can commit to this?” If you say anything less than nine, then that part of your goal needs to be revisited.
From my own personal experience, I've set the goal to workout one more day every week this year. I knew this would be hard as I wear many hats and find it hard to keep myself accountable. I was only about 5/10 on the scale of how confident I could do it on my own. However, knowing that I do very well with the accountability from a coach, I am now working with Dave twice a week for personal training and nutrition coaching.
Use the tools available to you and reach out to your support network to help you stay accountable.
5. T - Time Sensitive
Having realistic start and finish dates will give you the sense of urgency that your goals deserve! It is also a great way to check if your goal is realistic. If you’ve been seeing progress but your deadline comes and goes and you haven’t quite met your target, you may consider re-evaluating your timeline. Remember, failure doesn’t come when we don’t hit the target the first time, but when we give up altogether.
Call To Action:
Dig out the goals you set for yourself back in January and rewrite them using the S.M.A.R.T. principles. Be very clear on what success will look like for you and why it’s important. Most importantly: list one thing you can do TODAY to bring you closer to your goals.
Don’t give up! Remember, we are here for you--CONTACT US to set up your complimentary consultation with one of our coaches and let us help you with reaching your goals.