Sunday, January 12, 2014

How to Make Your New Year's Resolutions Work For You
   by Bob Wells, CPT, PES, CES

2014 is in full swing and gyms and health clubs around the world are crowded, full of resolutioners swearing, nay, resolving that this year is going to be different.

This is the year-2014-that they are going to achieve all of their goals, especially their fitness goals. This lofty aims are understandable, since there are few among us who don't want to look great-naked or not.

However, we know anecdotally and empirically, for that matter, that most will fail in this effort. Those with the sturdiest of resolves will only last until the middle of February and perhaps even into early March, before abandoning their resolutions for the comfort of the status quo. So, how do you keep from becoming another statistic?

The answer lies primarily in the setting of goals, and specifically setting S.M.A.R.T goals. Based on the model first used in the November 1981 issue of Management Review by George T. Doran, S.M.A.R.T goals refer to goals that are:

  • Specific-The goal should be more specific than general here. Eliminate any vagueness. Instead of resolving to lose weight, set a goal of losing 15 pounds. 
  • Measurable-The goal should have tangible criteria for progress, such as that of losing weight. You can use a scale to measure body weight changes, but simply resolving to get into better shape is not a measurable goal.
  • Attainable-The goal should be able to be accomplished. In our example of losing 15 pounds, it is certainly an attainable or achievable goal.
  • Realistic- This characteristic is similar to being attainable, but here the goal should consider lifestyle choices or limitations. You can certainly lose 15 pounds, but not if you have a bottle of wine and three desserts each evening. 
  • Time-bound-The goal, rather accomplishing the goal should have an expiration date. I want to lose the aforementioned 15 pounds by March.
Use these S.M.A.R.T goals to achieve great success in fitness and beyond in 2014. Good luck and Happy New Year!

Comments? Questions?