Today is the 9th of January. How many of you made New Year’s resolutions? Are you sticking to them, or have you tossed them aside already? At one time or another, we have all resolved at the start of a new year to lose weight, get into better shape, start going to bed earlier or increase the amount of our daily water intake. Not many of us stick to our resolutions Some quit after the first day, others after the first week. By the time the first month passes, most people have given up.

When my daughter Tammie was home for Christmas, she told me, “We’d have better luck sticking to our resolutions if we made them S.M.A.R.T.”

Are your New Year’s resolutions S.M.A.R.T this year?

S  You need to make your goal as specific as you can. Will you be the one doing it? What do you want to accomplish? Where are you going to do it? When do you want it done? How is it going to be done?

For example, it isn’t enough to say you want to get in better shape so you can participate in the 2019 Boston marathon. You need to make concrete plans like, “In January I will stop eating donuts for breakfast and candy bars before bedtime. In February I will begin walking around the block once a day. In March I will stop eating second helpings. In April I will quit smoking. In May I will begin training for the marathon.”

M Your goal needs to be measurable. How much weight do you need to lose during February, March and April? Track what you eat. Keep records to show how your stamina increases as you begin an exercise program. Take measurements. At the end of the year, will you be able to say you took part in the marathon? Did you finish? Where did you place?

A Make your goals attainable. Are you going to be able to lose 432 pounds by May? How badly do you want to run the marathon? Every pound you lose and every minute longer you can exercise – the closer you are to your goal. Feel your self-esteem growing! (By the way, I don’t eat donuts for breakfast and candy bars at bedtime. I don’t smoke and I don’t weight 632 pounds. I do, however, like to take second helpings more often than I should!)

R Being realistic is necessary in setting attainable goals. If a person weighs 632 pounds on January 1st and hasn’t been outside their house since the year 2000, being ready for this year’s Boston marathon is highly unlikely. Don’t give up though. Adjust your goal. Just losing 10% of your weight and doing moderate exercise 10 minutes a day is a benefit. Maybe the Boston marathon will be a realistic goal next year, or the year after!

T Your goal needs to be timely, not open-ended, otherwise both your sense of accomplishment and sense of urgency will be lost. Plan to lose five to ten pounds every four weeks and to walk a mile further each month.

Bad habits are hard to break. Sticking to “do-goodie” resolutions is even harder. Good luck in reaching your goals this year. I hope every single one of them are S.M.A.R.T.!





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