How to Actually Achieve Your New Year’s Resolutions
Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail
The truth about New Year’s Resolutions is that most of the time, it’s New Year, Same Old Me. 73% of people who set New Year’s Resolutions abandon them. And there’s a very clear reason why people repeat the same mistake over and over, with a new resolution every year that they never achieve. When someone looks back on what went wrong, they remember being motivated at the start, probably a little progress, a hurdle or too, and a gradual fizzling out of their drive to hit their goal. So they blame the hurdles or the fizzle out and miss that the problem actually occurred when they were at their most motivated – when they set their goal in the first place. The problem is that people tend to set goals in ways that don’t lend themselves to actually being achieved, and if you’ve ever let a New Year’s Resolution slide, you’re probably one of those people. But don’t feel bad – getting this right requires knowledge you don’t have yet. Until you’ve read this article, that is.
SMART Fitness Resolutions Work
This issue is common and reaches beyond New Year’s Resolutions. It was covered broadly in this article. Here, we’ll be using the same SMART Fitness Goals method but applying it specifically to New year’s Resolutions. You can use this same method for all goals, fitness related or not, but our focus will be on fitness.
To recap, SMART Fitness Goals use Specific, Measurable, Realistic, Relevant, and Time-bound. For this article, let’s start with the example New Year’s Resolution “I want to be a healthier me in 2022.”
How to Make Your Resolution SMART
At this first, all we have is a vague notion of what we want to achieve. To make this Specific, we need to define what healthier means. For our example, let’s say we are above our normal weight range and reasonable weight loss would be healthy. Our goal becomes “I want to lose excess body fat”.
Now we need to make sure our goal is Measurable. If we have an estimated 20 kg of excess fat, it may not be healthy to lose all of it in one year. It may also not be necessary to lose all of our excess fat. It’s important to acknowledge that everyone’s health and happiness is unique. And goals should be set to help individuals achieve health and happiness, whatever that means for them. So, our goal may be “I want to lose 12 kg.” This is where most people stop.
Next, we need to check if our goal is Relevant to us by asking why we want to achieve this goal. Including our motivation in our goal statement will also help keep us motivated throughout the year by reminding us why we started this journey. Let’s say our motivation to lose weight is to feel healthier and update our goal to “I want to lose 12 kg so that I will feel healthier”.
Finally, our goal needs to be Time-bound. Our example makes this easy – it’s one year. So our SMART Fitness Goal Statement is “I want to lose 12 kg in 12 months so that I will feel healthier”. Perfect, 1 kg a month or about 250 g per week. If your goal is best met faster or slower than a year, that’s fine too. Generally speaking, anything less than 0.5 kg per month is difficult because it can be hard to measure and observe change accurately on a daily to weekly basis and anything over 4 kg per month is too extreme to be healthy. These numbers are generalities and not specific to any individual.
SMART Resolution Set, Now What?
Congratulations! If your followed all these steps with your own goal, you have now turned your New Year’s Resolutions into a SMART Fitness Goals. You’re already statistically 10 times more likely to achieve your goal! Now you need to figure out how. The Goals by Steve SMART Fitness Goals Worksheet is designed to help you plan your diet and exercise routine using calculations based on Metabolic Equivalent figures from the World Health Organisation, the Mifflin-St Jeor BMR formula, and the US Navy’s body fat calculation method. It also includes resources to help turn all your fitness goals into SMART Fitness Goals.
In addition to a regular exercise routine, you have to get nutrition right in order to achieve any fitness goals. The three most important factors are the amount of calories consumed, getting enough micronutrients, and getting your macronutrients right, which mostly means ensuring enough of your calories come from protein. Use the SMART Fitness Goals Worksheet to calculate your target calories, then plan your diet to hit those targets. For micronutrients, a wholefoods diet with an emphasis on unprocessed foods will usually supply you with all the micronutrients you need. A multivitamin can also help you get all the micronutrients your body needs. As with all general health advice, always preference advice from a professional who has worked with you specifically. For macronutrients and getting enough protein, Goals by Steve has a whole article about the role of protein in your fitness goals and a full range of protein supplements to boost your dietary protein intake. Simply select your goal to Bulk, Shred, Grow lean muscle to find the best protein for you. If you want a non-dairy alternative, we have Grow Soda by Steve. You can further support these goals with faster, more complete Recovery between workouts and bringing more Energy into each workout.