The beauty of a New Years Resolution
The promise that a new year brings is powerful. It’s a chance for us all to start fresh, reassess our plans and change them to make sure we still believe in the path we’re walking on.
For some people, a moment of reflective thinking as the clock strikes twelve is enough. But for most of us, a secret promise of some sort of change is made – a new year resolution.
New Year resolutions have a bit of a bad reputation. They’re often seen as cliché or goals that expire in a month. Everyone has a long list of broken New Year resolutions. But maybe the problem isn’t in the idea or the timing. Perhaps it’s actually to do with the goals were setting.
Positive psychologist Dr Tim Sharp (aka Dr Happy) prescribes the idea of SMART goals. That is, goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timed.
People who set SMART goals are far more likely to achieve them than those who set vague, non-specific ones. In short, they’re clever because they’re more thought out.
New Year Resolutions to avoid
If your new year resolution isn’t SMART, it’s probably best to re-think it. Need help grasping the idea? Here are five un-SMART resolutions to avoid.
“I’m going to lose weight”
This is a common resolution, and probably commonly broken too. This is because it isn’t SPECIFIC. Because the goal of ‘losing weight’ is vague, it will be hard to assess. Technically, if you weight 0.01 gram less then you’ve achieved this goal. But deep down, if your goal was to lose weight, you were probably hoping for a bit more than that. Not being able to quantify meaningful progress will deplete your motivation and ultimately result in another abandoned resolution.
“I’m going to take better care of my health this year”
Though this goal is quite specific, it’s not MEASURABLE. This will make it hard to track and therefore, hard to achieve. Instead, break this down into actions you can take to achieve better health. For example, you could add ‘by going for a 20-minute walk three times a week’. Now your goal is specific, and you can measure your progress.
“I’m going to look like Elle Machperson”
Okay, so we know that this is an unlikely new year resolution. But the point is to illustrate goals that are not ACHIEVABLE. This could be choosing a goal weight that is far too small, or setting exercise goals that you know for a fact won’t fit into your schedule.
We are all for reaching for the stars and achieving goals beyond your wildest dreams. “Any thinking that’s unrealistic is likely to set one up for failure and lead, therefore to frustration and disappointment” says Dr Tim Sharp. Try instead, to shoot for the stars and maybe take two steps back. When you reach your initial goal, then you can build on it and go even further.
“I’m going to lose 10 kilos”
Sounds normal right? It is a good goal for someone who is ten kilos overweight. If you’re part-way through your weight loss journey, your initial goal may not be RELEVANT. The start of a new year is the perfect chance to make sure your existing goals are still relevant. And if you’re making new ones, be sure they are relevant still.
“I’m going to fit into my skinny jeans again”
Another amazing goal! It can be so rewarding to fit into clothes that you once rocked when you were younger, slimmer, pre-kids or all of the above. Sometimes, fitting into slim fitting clothes can be more motivating that a number on a scale. The only problem with this particular goal is that it isn’t TIMED. This can be a problem because it gives you all the opportunity to drag your feet and not get started. Instead, add ‘by the end of the year’ or ‘by July’ (make sure it’s achievable). It will be scary to see a ‘deadline’ but it’s also a good motivator.
Before you set your new year resolution, download our weight loss goals workbook! It will help you set your SMART goals for weight loss and beyond! Happy new year!
Have you got a new year resolution? Let us know in the comments below!