Setting New Years Resolutions You’ll Actually Achieve

BY JENNY TSCHIESCHE BSc(Hons) Dip (ION) FdSc BANT

Setting New Years Resolutions You’ll Actually Achieve

You’ve heard all the “new year, new you” slogans and straplines but have you managed to stick to any of your own resolutions beyond the first month or perhaps the first two months of the new year in the past? If you struggle to stick to resolutions this simple methodology may well help you. It’s an acronym that you may have used in your work goal setting but never thought to apply it to your own personal goal setting. It’s called SMART.

Specific (S)

You know you want to eat better, healthier, more plant-based perhaps? Those goals are too generic and not specific enough. You might wonder why that’s an issue but it’s clear from any kind of goal setting you’ve done in the past I am sure that unless you’re specific about what you want to achieve, you’ll never actually know when you have achieved it.

Being specific when it comes to healthy eating means for example –

  • Having breakfast every workday before leaving the house
  • Eating 6 portions of vegetable each day
  • Reducing the sugar in your coffee by 1 tsp each day

Do it

Measurable (M)

Whatever you’ve selected as your goal or goals they must be measurable. This leads on nicely from being specific about your goals. It’s easier to track the increase in your vegetable intake per day from 4 to 6 portions than to say “eat more vegetables” without being able to track it.

Attainable (A)

There’s no point in aiming too high nor too low. Don’t be tempted to go for a target that is easily achieved by a partner or friend but a whole lot harder for you. Equally, you want to feel a sense of achievement. Try and find a suitable level of achievement that you know you’ll be happy with and aim for that.

realistic goals

Realistic (R)

Trying to do too much too soon will only leave you disappointed. Be sure to set your goals such that they can be met and that way you’ll keep the motivation to keep progressing beyond the achievement of the goal itself. If your starting point is that you currently eat no fermented foods then eating 2 portions of fermented foods a week is healthy and achievable. Going from zero to everyday would be unrealistic and therefore unlikely that you’d stick to it.

Trackable (T)

Choosing specific, measurable goals means you can track your progress over time. Write your efforts down in a journal or track them on an app so you can see how far you’ve come. Remember to congratulate yourself when you’ve achieved your goals.

Trackable

Here are a few examples of SMART goals:

  • Exercise for 30 minutes at least four days per week for two months.
  • Eat two meat-free dinners per week for one month.
  • Spend 60 minutes of screen-free time with my children every Saturday.
  • Put away all mobile devices and shut off all screens by 9 p.m. on weeknights for one month.
  • Walk at least 10,000 steps tracked on a pedometer at least five days per week.