So here we are, a few weeks into the New Year and I am wondering whether you are sticking to your New Year's Resolutions?
Over the weekend I was asked the question of whether I had any New Year's Resolutions and I told my friends the one resolution I had made this year, ‘to spend less time in the Sun’. I have a pretty strong ‘love bond’ with the sun, something which I know isn’t too healthy for my skin and at 27 I now feel it’s time to take control as I’m pretty sure my youthful looks will not last forever! Over the next few days I began to question my resolution and asked myself what exactly do I mean by spending less time in the sun? According to currentresults.com there are 289 annual days in Vancouver with a measurable amount of sunshine, so unless I turn into a recluse in 2015 my resolution seems almost impossible. Already I have slipped up.
I found that I have fallen into the trap of what most people do when making New Year's resolutions, I have not made them CLEAR enough. Let’s face it at the end of the day a resolution, or as the Oxford dictionary defines it, ‘A firm decision to do or not to do something’ is basically a goal, and for goals to work they need to be SMART.
Let’s look at one of my favourite ladies (or characters) of all times, Bridget Jones. At the start of Bridget Jones’s Diary we see her write her New Year's resolutions:
“Resolution #1: Uggg - will obviously lose 20 lbs. #2: Always put last night's panties in the laundry basket.”
If we look at resolution number 1 we instantly see that this is not going to work. Why??? Because it is not a SMART RESOLUTION. A better resolution would be:
“I WILL lose 10 lbs by March 1st”
This resolution is SPECIFIC - it says what you will do.
It is MEASURABLE - You are able to track the number of pounds you are losing each week.
It is ATTAINABLE - To make this goal attainable there needs to be a PLAN or P.O.A (Plan of Action) that goes along side it and shows how you will lose the 10lbs.
For instance in this scenario of ‘ I will lose 10lbs by March 1st’ the plan would be - I will attend the gym twice a week and go for one weekly run 30-60 minutes. I will also follow a healthy meal plan and use recipes from my new ‘Wheat Belly’ cookbook book my husband bought me for Christmas. See http://groundworkathletics.ca/blog/6-tips-to-develop-and-maintain-a-healthy-lifestyle / http://www.freckledfitness.ca/6-tips-to-develop-and-maintain-a-healthy-lifestyle/ for more inspiration.
It is REALISTIC - You have 8 weeks to lose 10lbs. This averages out at 1.25lbs per week which is both realistic and safe.
It is TIMELY - you have set your self a timeframe or a DEADLINE to achieve the goal. Write the deadline down and tell your friends about it, spread the word. By having your deadline known to others it will help you push to achieve your goal as it’s far more embarrassing telling others that you slipped off the band wagon.
So if you are having doubts about your resolutions or feel they are difficult to keep, go back and review them and make sure you are able to use the SMART acronym with each resolution. Using this acronym I changed my current resolution to,
‘I will always wear an spf.15 on my face and in the heat of the summer I will not spend more than 3 continuous hours laying in the sun’.
For some this resolution may seem odd but for me it is quite the challenge. Nonetheless, it is SMART and I am determined to stick to it.
As you can see I have only made one resolution (I do have some other fitness goals of course but they were already set before the New Year). If you are reading this and have several goals here are a few final pointers to help you stay on track for the year:
- Make goals that are personal for you…resolutions should be about what YOU want, not about what your boyfriend, girlfriend or colleagues want.
- Celebrate when you reach your goal. If have really wanted something for a long time, i.e. that naughty piece of cheesecake or that stunning sequin dress from French Connection, treat yourself to it, but only once you have reached your goal. Another little incentive to keep on grinding!
- Do not overwhelm yourself with making an endless list of New Year's Resolutions. Or if you have already made several, scatter them over the year. Begin a new one after you have already accomplished another.
I hope these pointers help you stay on track for a healthy and happy 2015!!!
Thanks for reading,
x x x x x x x x x x