How to Set Realistic New Year’s Goals

Have you wanted to lose weight or quit smoking? The new year is a time when many people consider setting goals to help them lead a healthier life. According to a study published by the Journal of Clinical Psychology, those who set New Year’s resolutions are ten times more likely to change their behavior than people who don’t make yearly goals.

Setting Realistic Goals

You may have set goals for yourself in the past, but did you stick with it to achieve that goal? A Franklin Covey survey found that one-third of resolutions set for the new year don’t make it past the end of January. But don’t let that get you down! A lot of these resolutions fail because they’re not the right resolutions. A resolution may be wrong for one of three main reasons:

  1. It’s a resolution created based on what someone else (or society) is telling to change.
  2. It’s too vague.
  3. You don’t have a realistic plan for achieving your resolution.

Have you ever heard the phrase ‘how do you eat an elephant’? It’s simply one bite at a time.

At Intermountain Health, we encourage our patients to use the acronym SMART when setting their healthcare goals. This means that your goals should be:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Timely

For example, instead of saying ‘I want to exercise more’ make it SMART and say “I will go to the gym and exercise at least 30 minutes a day, three times a week’.

After you decide what success looks like, it’s important to consider how you’re going to accomplish it. Remember, you have to break that elephant down into bite-sized pieces. If your goal is to exercise at the gym three times a week, you will need to consider:

  • What gym will you go to?
  • What days of the week will you go?
  • What time of day works best for you?
  • Will you need to rearrange your schedule to accommodate?
  • What kind of exercise will you do when at the gym?

If you have a clear plan to follow, you will be more likely to stick with it. It’s time to make 2020 your year!

Part of being well is being heard.