Did you make a New Year’s resolution? Many estimates say about 40% or more of us do, but only about 8% of us actually achieve those goals. I’d like to share with you the best way I know to set, and reach, your goals (whether they’re fitness related or not). Just remember to be SMART about it!

SSpecific – This is the who, what, when, where and how of your goal
M – Measurable – If you can’t measure your progress, how will you know when you’ve reached your goal!
AAttainable – If you want to set yourself up for success, your goal should be something you can feasibly attain
RRealistic – Something that you are willing and able to work toward. This doesn’t mean you can’t set the bar high, though.
TTimely – Your goal should have a specific time-line; a date by which you’d like to have reached your goal (some mid-point shorter term goals along the way are good for a long-term goal).

Here’s some examples:

Not a great goal: “I want to lose weight!”
SMART goal: “I’d like to lose 20 pounds by May 1st, 5 pounds per month, by not drinking my calories and cutting out desserts, because I want to feel more confident in my bathing suit this summer.”

Not a great goal: “I’m going to exercise more often.”
SMART goal: “I will exercise 5 days a week for at least 30 minutes at a time, scheduling workouts for a time of day that will realistically work for me and choosing activities that I like to do. I will pen those appointments into my calendar to avoid scheduling something else instead. I commit to doing this for the next 4 weeks, and on Jan 31st I will revisit this goal for February making adjustments as needed.”

Not a great goal: “I will get organized.”
SMART goal: “I’m going to organize my house by April 1st, by spending at least 1 hour every weekend, in 1 room of my house, getting rid of unnecessary items. I will take them to the thrift store every following Monday, so they don’t find their way back into my house. I want to do this so I can close all drawers and closet doors and easily find anything I need, and not feel stressed out by being in my home.”

The new and improved goals meet all the SMART criteria and some even have the additional bonus of an emotional component to really help them stick!
The final step: Write your goal down! Even better? Tell someone, like your friends and/or family, and get them to join you or ask for their support. You could even hire someone (like me) to help you stay on track.