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Make New Year's SMART Goals, Not Resolutions

Posted Jan 01 2011 2:08pm

Happy New Year, y’all! I hope you had a festive evening. Mine consisted of amazing sushi, good company, and a 1am bedtime (love it).

I’m a big fan of new year’s resolutions, but get really frustrated when people make vague, unattainable promises to themselves — only to get really frustrated and give up by around, oh, February. How many times have you made new year’s resolution about losing weight? And just how many times has that worked for you? I thought so.

In order to be successful in any new year’s resolution, but specifically those related to weight loss, try creating SMART goals instead of resolutions.

I’m sure many of you have heard of the SMART concept, but it’s actually really helpful in creating goals that won’t just discourage you. Here’s how it goes (and there are a few variations, but this is the one I like best):

So instead of a vague weight-loss resolution, try something like, “I want to be able to fit into my size 8 GAP jeans from last year by April 1, 2011.” That goal is specific (it describes one specific pair of jeans), measurable (you’ll be able to measure if you fit or not), attainable (provided you’re only a size or two larger now), relevant, and time-bound (specifying an end date gives a time limit for the goal).

And then, as an important second step, make sure you create a goal to help you get there: “I will follow my YNC strength training plan as closely as possible” (sorry, shameless plug!) or “I will avoid foods with over 10g of sugar per serving except on Saturdays.” Creating a SMART goal is useless if you don’t create another one to back it up.

One good way to determine if your goals are SMART or not is to show them to someone else and make sure it’s abundantly clear to him/her what exactly you’re going to do.

Need help setting weight loss, fitness, or health goals and meeting them? I’m doing a New Year’s Your Nutritionista Consulting giveaway next week, so get excited!

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