Is Your New Year’s Resolution a S.M.A.R.T. One?

Plan, Checklist, Goal, Letter, List, New Year Resolution
Cn0ra/iStock/Getty Images Plus

If you’ve been planning a New Year’s resolution, make sure it’s S.M.A.R.T.  — specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound. Resolutions should be goals that you are striving for every day, every month of the year until you reach or modify them.

In other words, you don’t want your New Year’s resolution to be a wistful memory by Martin Luther King, Jr. Day or Valentine’s Day.

Tip 1: A Resolution is a Choice to Change

You can make a resolution anytime, it just happens that January 1 is a popular time to do it.  But, you do not need to wait for a special day or time to make a change. True change happens in an instant and results happen when we stick to our choice to change. Tweet this

Tip 2: Set S.M.A.R.T. Resolutions with the Choice to Change in Mind

Your resolution must be a change you are willing and able to make consistently! If you aren’t serious, it won’t stick.

Tip 3: Make Your S.M.A.R.T. Resolutions into Process-based Goals

Very often, resolutions are outcome-based: “I want to lose 50 pounds.” Or, “I want to have more energy.” Or, as an example of a non-health related outcome-based goal: “I want to make more money.”

The problem is, we can’t really control outcome-based goals directly. We need to take action to achieve them. The key to achieving outcome-based goals is to create process-based goals that revolve around action Tweet this you can do consistently to get you to your outcome goals. For example:

  • “I will exercise four days a week.”
  • “I will eat one more serving of vegetables every day.”
  • “I will have one less can of soda or coffee each day.”

As you develop your S.M.A.R.T. resolutions for 2016, remember these two ideas:

  1. A choice to change starts the second you act differently, regardless of the date on the calendar.
  2. For any resolution, make at least two process-based goals that you can take action on to get you there!

Here is to a happy, healthy and successful 2016!

Jason Machowsky on FacebookJason Machowsky on Twitter
Jason Machowsky
Originally an overweight engineer, Jason Machowsky, MS, RD, CSSD, CSCS, lost more than 30 pounds and changed careers to pursue his passion. Through his book and blog Death of the Diet, he empowers people to live the life they want by integrating healthy eating and physical activity habits into their daily routines. You can follow him on Facebook or Twitter.