smart new year’s resolutions

06Jan15

Hey! It’s just after the first of the year (Happy New Year, btw), and you all are ready to make a change, right?

(Well… reality is… why wait ’til the first to make a change? Set your own “first of the year” anytime to make a change! But I digress…)

It’s the way of the Western world to declare big goals, tackle them for a few weeks/days/seconds, and give up. Sometimes it’s due to lack of interest, sometimes because the goal is too lofty, but sometimes due to lack of clarity.

??? But I know what my goal is–I want to lose weight!

Do you know how you’re going to lose weight? What steps you’re going to take?

This is where the SMART system comes in. I use it with my health classes regularly, to get them to improve one aspect of their lives. And yes… it sounds corporate-speak cheesy, but this one actually works.

If you’re unfamiliar with the SMART goal… you need to set a goal that is

S = specific
M = measurable
A = attainable
R = relevant
T = time-bound

So, for those who want to lose weight: you might say you want to lose 5 pounds in two months, which is specific to the amount of weight you want to lose, it is attainable because it’s a reasonable amount of weight to lose in two months, and it is time bound (you’ve given yourself a deadline rather than left it open-ended, making it more likely to happen). You can measure your progress by comparing your current weight to your previous weight, and this goal would be relevant to you if you have weight to lose. (If not, it is irrelevant. An additional example: if you don’t smoke, a goal of stopping smoking would be irrelevant.)

Another SMART goal example: “eating healthier” does not meet the criteria. But if you say that you will increase your fruit servings, adding 1 per day to a maximum of 3 per day at the end of a three-week ramp-up period–that’s doable, it’s certainly relevant (improving one’s health), you can measure your progress, and it’s specific.

Get the idea? 🙂

I’d love to hear what your SMART goals are as you embark on the new year! Let me know below!

As for me… I have a crazy schedule on campus this quarter, but I have a goal of making at least one (ideally two) casseroles each weekend that contain a cruciferous vegetable to take with me for lunches. Is it attainable? I don’t know… we’ll have to see about that. This schedule only lasts until mid-March…

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3 Responses to “smart new year’s resolutions”

  1. Love it! I made a decision to make 2015 the year I take back my life from MS and I didn’t mean for it to be a resolution but people have called it that. I made it 1 resolution, made up of small goals that I am starting off small with and not all at once. I also have a blog that I started to mainly document my journey but also keep me accountable and hopefully connect with at least one person out there. Love reading your posts!

    • Thanks so much! I like to think of MS as just a label and not something that I *am*, you know? Then it isn’t so all-encompassing.
      Keep on going little by little! We can do this! 🙂

      • I love the saying I may have MS but MS doesn’t have me…but this last year was so challenging I feel like it took over a bit. Thanks for the reminder and I will definitely keep going and going like the little engine that could!


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