Setting SMART Goals for a New You

January 01, 2020

Judging by my social media feeds, most people are setting resolutions for 2020 with the hope of being a little bit happier and healthier in 2020. If you’re focusing on health and wellness in the New Year, you aren’t alone! This time of the year, the gym is packed and everyone seems to be starting a new nutrition plan.  

The gym won’t look the same in a few weeks. 

You’ve probably realized that the challenge isn’t coming up with a fitness resolution, it’s sticking with it. If you struggle with maintaining your resolutions, you aren’t alone.  According to one study, approximately 80% of us have given up on our New Year’s Resolutions by the second week of February.  If you’re looking to buck that trend, it’s time to get SMART about your goals. 

What’s a SMART goal?  SMART is an acronym used for goal setting and project planning that can be easily used when setting a fitness goal and coming up with a training plan to help make that goal a reality.  SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely and when you put the time into making a SMART fitness goal, you are making an investment in yourself and planning for success. 

Specific – We often make our resolutions during the general craziness of the holiday season, without really sitting down and thinking about what those goals mean.  By taking the time to make a specific goal, for instance, “run a 10K race” instead of “run more”, you are giving yourself a much better framework to build off of and plan for. 

Measurable – What’s the point of setting a goal if you don’t know when you achieve it?  Creating a measurable fitness goal often goes hand in hand with making that goal specific and allows you to have a clear and defined finish line (pun intended). 

Attainable – Having a big, long term goal is great but you also want to set smaller, more immediate goals so that you don’t get discouraged.  For example, if you haven’t really been running recently but would love to finish a 10K in 2020, set some smaller goals to work on along the way, like running a mile without stopping and completing a 5K. 

Relevant – Make sure there is a “why” behind your goal and that you aren’t just writing it down because your friend or neighbor is doing it and it sounded like a good idea when you saw the post on Facebook.  Your goal should be YOUR goal and knowing why you want to achieve it will help you stay focused when it gets hard to stay on track.   

Timely – Setting a goal with the plan to do it sometime in 2020 is an easy way to find yourself on December 30th with “Run a 10K” still on your to-do list.  Taking the time to think about and plan your goals should include making a plan for when you want to accomplish it by, and because we know how military life can be, make sure you include a Plan B for when Plan gets thrown off track by a PCS move, TAD or deployment. 

Once you’ve taken the time to create your SMART goal, take everything you’ve written down and put it somewhere you can see it, schedule time into your day to put your plan into action and write your goals, big and small, on your calendar.  Once January 1, 2020 rolls around you’ll be ready to make your plan a reality.  We all know that this is the hardest part but by writing it down, knowing your why and creating a plan you’ve set yourself up for your most successful fitness year yet.