New Year, Same You?Does this scenario sound familiar? Americans create bold plans to be better physically or emotionally, but we usually give them up after the first few weeks. An article from two years ago shared that less than a quarter of people commits to their goals after a month, and 8% of people accomplish their new years’ resolutions. Two major problems occur with setting grand resolutions:
- They are usually vague and general. “Eat healthier”. “Lose weight”. “Get outside more”. They don’t lead to actual change if you don’t know what being healthier or active means.
- Resolutions usually rely on willpower, how much the person is willing to achieve them. Days will come where you become tired, lack motivation, or want to give up.
Creating SMART GoalsTo ensure that you create a better “you” in 2021, your goals must be S.M.A.R.T.
SpecificThis is the portion where you describe what the goal is. What do you want to accomplish? Here, you define if the goal is to improve personal nutrition, physical activity, mental health, or another aspect of your life.
Measurable“How much?” “How many?” Ask these questions when creating a measurable goal, because having a way to track your progress makes it easier to follow them.
AttainableYour goals should be goals that can be achieved within your abilities. Setting up goals that you won’t attain can lead to disappointment. Be sure to ask these questions when building a goal that’s attainable: “How can I accomplish these goals?” “What are some things I need to make this goal possible?”
RelevantBuilding a relevant goal is all about how you are feeling in a current situation. Here is where you decide “why” you want to practice this goal. Maybe you have issues with depression or anxiety so you want to improve your mental health, or you had health issues such as diabetes so you want to eat healthier.
Time-BoundGoals must have a strict deadline. Whether it is within a few days, weeks, or months, there has to be a time element so you can track your progress easily. It also takes into account what actions you’ll be doing within a day, week, or month to achieve those goals.
Putting it All TogetherNow that you know the basics of building S.M.A.R.T goals, here are four practical steps on building your wellness goals:
- Choose a relevant outcome
- Pick attainable actions to practice daily or weekly
- Outline specific actions to do
- Make a deadline for your goals