There is a real reason that over 85% of new years’ resolutions fail.
Like many people reading this, we’ve all made new years resolutions, maybe some have stuck, but many fell short.
“I going to lose weight.”
“I’m going to travel more”
“I’m going to spend more time with my family.”
All of these sound great and probably elicit some feelings of excitement and motivation.
But… why do so many of these goals fall short? Why do so many of these seem to fizzle out in the first few months?
Is it because the person (such as you) wasn’t serious enough? Maybe you didn’t want it bad enough? Or perhaps it felt too hard?
Honestly, I don’t think. I don’t think it’s because you weren’t serious, or that you didn’t want it bad enough, even that you felt it was too hard. I mean, when you set up the goal you KNEW, you would be challenged, so why did it not work?
How not to set crappy resolutions
At RTC, we have worked with hundreds helping them with their fitness goals (some with life goals), and we see a trend of those that hit their fitness goals vs. the ones that fall short, and it’s something that we used with ALL of our members here.
You may have heard of this.
S.M.A.R.T. stands for (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-oriented)
Let me give you an example.
Say your goal is to lose weight this year; to be the lean, toned, and sexy AF. That starting in Jan, you’re going to change and get in the best shape of your life.
How many of you have set that goal, and how many have achieved it for their resolution? Yeah…
I think the desires and intention of the goal is good, I mean we’ve all thought this, but more than likely this will fall short because the goal is too vague.
Lose weight? How much?
How to do we even measure toned and sexy AF? Is there a sexy AF scale?
What are you going to change?
What does the best shape of your life look like?
It sounds like I’m picking it apart, and let’s be honest to a degree I am, but it’s not to make the person wanting this feel bad. It’s to help get more specific.
I mean you could lose 5lbs and bam there is your weight loss goal, but I’m sure that’s not what you had in mind. This is when SMART goals come in.
I’m going to use the SMART goal setting for the goal above, wanting to lose weight and get in the best shape of their life.
Instead of saying ‘lose weight,’ let’s get more specific with this, such as 50lbs. That’s MUCH more specific, and if you lose 50lbs, pretty sure you’re going to be leaner, more toned, and well on your way to being sexy AF.
Can we measure this? We can measure 50lbs, but can we measure, on an objective system, toned and sexy AF? It would be cool if that were possible, but no, it’s not; it’s too subjective, so we want to drop that line.
Can this be done? This depends on the person. If you weigh 300lbs, dropping 50lbs is attainable for many people, but if you weigh 170lbs, it may not be the best goal to pick. Only you know this one.
I will say this that it better to start with smaller goals than one big one, or to put in another perspective, focus on smaller goals that are part of your bigger goal.
Is this something that you really want or that will have a meaningful impact on your life? We see many times that people will declare resolutions just because they feel they have to since everyone else is doing so. They will pick arbitrary goals that have no emotional meaning… basically, it would be cool to get there, but if they don’t, no biggie.
Traveling is a typical example of this. People will set goals to travel more this year because it sounds sexy, and everyone else is doing it. These people keep pushing the travel date back month after month until they are too busy to even travel this year; when, more than likely, they didn’t care if they traveled or not.
“Any goal that you pick make sure that it’s something you give a damn about, something that lights a fire in your soul and gives you a reason to wake up in the morning.”
If it’s not that, then the likelihood of you following your resolution goes way down.
Side note: Not all resolutions or goals have to be big glorious audacious things, pick what makes you happy and what you feel will have an impact on your life. Your goal/resolution can be weight loss, financial, spiritual, relationship, educational, entertainment, whatever YOU want. This is your goal, no one else.
When will you get this done? A goal without an end date is just a pleasant daydream. Pick a date that you will lose 50lbs, pick a date that you WILL travel, pick a date that you WILL be debt-free.
Better yet make sure it’s something that’s within a few months, NOT year.
I’m going to elaborate on this on a later blog but set milestones or markers about every quarter or 12 weeks. This will keep you on pace and less likely to have half a year go by without making any substantial progress to your goal.
In our previous example of losing 50lbs, break that up to 15lbs every 3 months. This way, you don’t have much time to get complacent and lose your motivation; instead, that end date is just a few months away, and you’d be surprised what you can accomplish in a few months.
Putting It All Together
Reading this makes it sound like there is a lot of work that goes into setting better resolutions and goals. Truth be told, there is… and there isn’t.
Goal setting should be taken seriously, if you half-ass goal setting and you end up missing your goals over and over again, in time you train yourself NOT to believe yourself.
Don’t become that person. That sets a goal, starts, and never finishes.
If your there, try the above method. Set a SMART goal and set it for just 3 months. Just focus on one goal, something that you know that won’t overwhelm you, but you can do. After you achieve that, then you can set a goal that’s a notch more challenging and build from there.
Oh… and if you really want to take this up a notch… focus on setting goals based around HABITS, because HABITS are what is going to get you to your big goal.
In Health and Awesomeness,
Travis Merritt, BS, CPT, is the Owner of Rowlett Transformation Center in Rowlett, TX.
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