Get SMART In 2022: No More Resolutions, Let’s Set Goals
Before we get into how you’re going to achieve your New Year’s resolutions, let’s preface what a resolution actually is: a decision to do or not do something. This makes resolutions problematic. Why? Because they’re somewhat vague and are lacking a goal or purpose. So, let’s fix this.
SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Bound. It’s a formula used commonly when setting goals, which is exactly what we’re going to do instead of setting a resolution. Setting SMART goals is about clarifying what you actually want to achieve and how you are going to get there. If done properly, setting SMART goals will mean you actually achieve what you want to achieve in 2022. So, get that trusty pen and paper out and let’s do this!
The first element of your New Year’s goal is ensuring it is clear and specific. When your goal is vague (like resolutions), it’s hard to stay focused and motivated, whilst easy to find excuses. For example, a goal such as, “I want to exercise more”, is probably not going to motivate you to exercise on an early morning in the middle of winter. Instead, something like, “I am going to run 3 days a week to achieve my goal of running 5km by December 31st”, is much more likely to keep you accountable.
When crafting your New Year’s goal, ask yourself: What do I want to achieve? Why is this important to me? Who will be involved? Where will this happen? What do I need to do to achieve my goal?
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Ensuring your goal is measurable plays a key role in whether you will remain motivated throughout the year to achieve it. This can look like making sure your goal is trackable, there’s nothing more motivating than seeing progress!
To add another dimension to this step, however, ask yourself if your goal is moving towards or away from something? In the health and wellness space, many people set themselves the goal to lose weight – that is, ‘moving away’ from your current weight. This kind of goal (for most people, not everyone) often requires you to muster a lot of willpower as the journey to achieve the end result is often unpleasant. On the other hand, the journey of a goal that is moving towards something, something that can be built on, is fulfilling – much more motivating!
Therefore, for goals where you want to choose weight loss, try fitness related goals instead! For example, is there a certain distance you want to be able to run? A specific amount of weight you want to lift? A certain number of burpees you want to do without stopping? The options are endless! As a result of achieving these kinds of goals, you will likely experience weight loss as an outcome too (plus many other health benefits)!
Take this opportunity to reflect on yourself and what motivates you! We’re all different, so if you are someone who is highly motivated by weight loss, and can achieve it in a healthy and sustainable way, go for it!
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An important step to ensure you reach the end of the year with something to show is making sure your goal is achievable. To help you, choose a goal you know will require you to push yourself while still remaining possible. For example, if you’re wanting to become a long distance runner but haven’t put a pair of running shoes on in over a decade, setting yourself the goal to run an ultra marathon is probably a bit unrealistic. However, a goal of hitting 10km by the end of the year may be the perfect balance of pushing yourself whilst still being achievable!
If the end of the year is too far away to know for sure, set yourself a smaller goal that you know you can achieve in a couple of months. For example, maybe you could do that ultra marathon by the end of the year, but it’s too soon to tell! Instead, choose a distance you know you can hit in 1-3 months time and reassess your ultra marathon goal once you hit this!
When assessing if your goal is achievable, think about how you will accomplish it and if there are any constraints (e.g. time, financial, physical ability, support needed etc.).
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This is about making sure your goal matters to you, not a goal that you feel you should choose because society says so. If all your friends are into the gym, but you’d rather get out in nature, choose a goal that will enable you to do this! Don’t sign up for a gym membership if you genuinely can’t think of anything worse. Choosing a goal that is relevant and enjoyable to you will prevent your motivation from faltering – especially after a long day at work! Heck, you may actually enjoy your goal so much that you would prefer working towards it over an evening on the couch!
To make sure your goal is relevant, ask yourself: Will I enjoy this goal in the long-term? Does it align with what I want? Do I feel better from doing it?
Essentially, having a relevant goal is about making sure it’s personalised to you. With our Personalised Wellness Kit, understand where your fitness, nutrition and wellness genetic advantages and disadvantages lie. This will help you identify what areas of your health and wellness you want to utilise or improve upon when setting your goals, making them more personalised to you!
This step is essential for keeping you accountable – set a date! If it’s a yearly goal, write down “…achieve by December 31st, 2022”. However, if you’re setting yourself a smaller goal, as mentioned under ‘Achievable’, it’s just as important to write a date down for this too!
Time-Bound and Achievable are very closely tied. Ask yourself: When can I achieve my goal? What can I do in one month from now? What can I do in 3 months from now? What could I achieve by the end of the year?
Achieve Your Health Goals With myDNA
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