Each year millions of people ring in the New Year with cheer and excitement. New Year’s Eve celebrations happen across the world as we toast to promise and fortune in the year ahead.
It’s also a time you make promises to yourself with a fresh set of New Year’s Resolutions. Anyone who is determined to shed a few pounds can seize the start of a new year to make some positive changes toward losing weight.
While many New Year’s Resolutions begin with vigor, it can be challenging to sustain the level of commitment required to make lifestyle changes.
Serious goals like losing weight require strategy and there are some simple tactics you can use to make your commitment a reality.
SMART is a handy guideline to keeping your New Year’s Resolution. The acronym means Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-based.
“Losing weight” isn’t a SMART goal because you don’t clearly indicate what achieving your goal means. To make losing weight SMART, it needs to say something like, “I’m going to lose 20 pounds by May 31st”.
“20 pounds” makes your goal Specific and Measurable because you can calculate how much weight you lose. “May 31st” gives you a milestone to work towards making it Time-based. And assuming you get started in January, it’s Realistic that five months is enough time toward this Achievable goal.
SMART New Year’s Resolutions force you to consider what you’re asking from yourself, gives you a clear start and finish and allows you to envision what completion of your goal looks like.
Break Your Goal Into Smaller Tasks
Losing weight isn’t simple. It requires several lifestyle changes all working together to be effective. If it feels overwhelming, it can be helpful to break your goal into smaller tasks that add up to your ultimate achievement.
Sit down and make a list of things that need to happen in order for those pounds to shed. This list typically includes setting an active lifestyle schedule and changing your diet, both of which are large goals, which have tasks of their own. When you list the subtasks, make sure you create SMART goals for each. The smaller the task, the easier it is to do and the more likely it is to get done.
Create a System
Dictionary.com defines a system as ‘a group of independent but interrelated elements comprising of a unified whole. Your weight lose system are a combination of tactics that support your SMART goal. It may have all or some of the following components:
A key part of a system is organization. If you’ve resolved to get to the gym more often, setup a calendar and plot the days of week and workouts per day.
If you can’t chart your progress toward your goal, you’re breaking the SMART guideline because it isn’t measurable. A sure fire way to stay on course is to keep a record. Weigh yourself in regular intervals and record it in a journal or spreadsheet.
As you stick to your SMART goals you’ll achieve several milestones along the way. Sometimes you’ll be ahead of your deadlines and sometimes behind. Treat yourself for meeting your goals. This keeps the process fun and motivating. Steer away from food-related rewards and don’t overindulge.
4. Resolution Buddy
Much like a workout partner, a resolution buddy will make you accountable to someone other than yourself. When you feel supported in a task, you’re more likely to give it your all without fear of failure. Set a time each week to check in with your buddy and update on the status of your progress, solicit feedback and recommendations.
Losing weight is very possible with a solid approach. Beginning with a SMART goal, achievable tasks and a support system can make this a happy New Year for you with resolutions you can keep.