New Year’s resolutions. These resolutions have started a couple of centuries ago with the ancient Babylonians with different set of promises, that are completely different from our time. Now, a lot of people are making them and see it as a ”fresh start” for the year that is coming. We set goals and promises to motivate us to feel better (mentally and physically) but it doesn’t last for long…
The most commons ones are eating healthier, exercising more and saving money. It has been proven that more than 80% of persons that started a specific resolution fails before the beginning of March! This is due to what exactly? There’re many causes to that: lack of motivation, going back to their ”comfort zone”, etc… This is all due to a not setting their goals the good way.
A solution to this behavior is to use a method called the SMART Plan. Never heard of it before? Well, let me explain you how you can stay active and focus with the SMART plan for the year coming and so on. Don’t worry it is easier than it sounds. Let’s GO!
S.M.A.R.T. Plan Stands For…
The acronym SMART has some slight variations depending on of which type of goals you want to obtain. Here’s the most common:
S : Specific, Significant
M: Measurable, Meaningful
A: Achievable, Action-Oriented
R: Realist, Relevant, Reasonable, Result-Oriented
T: Tangible, Time-Based, Trackable
If you search the web, you will find more variations that can be more specific to the own goal(s).
If you set a goal, it need to be the most specific as possible. If you tell yourself ”I want to start exercising” or ”I want to get in shape”, these goals are not accurate at all. It is too vague and you will be promised to fail for sure. A real specific example would be ”I will lose 20 pounds” or ”I want to cut down my 5K time by 15 minutes”. You got the point?
Be Able To Measure It
Once you have set a specific goal you also need to measure it. Science tell us that if you don’t, it won’t work. It also a way to truly put cards on the table and see if you are really progressing or not.
For my self if I’m preparing for a half or full marathon, I always use my wearable to follow my progress. Any small progress would lead you to success long term and if it is measurable, it will increase the desire to get better or tweak it if something is wrong.
Another example would be for weight loss: you need a scale to measure where you start and where the going. Believe it or not, maybe person are scare to step on the scale (or by a private trainer) because they are scare to see how tall the mountain is to climb. It is normal to feel scare or ashamed but you need to start NOW and take ACTION. Once you’re able to measure it, you will know what need to be done to move forward.
Make It Achievable
Your goal need to attainable for you to succeed. If you set yourself to run a marathon but have never run any long distance runs it will be hard to achieve it. Settings yourself an achievable goal will also be more fun during the process.
It took me a couple of years before running my two marathons this year. I started small (5K), progressed (10K and 21K) and finally accomplished my goal (42.2K). From day one, I always had pleasure on any run that I did and that’s due to setting myself concrete achievable goals.
Be Realistic Toward Your Goal
You need to be focusing on something that make sense with the goal that want to achieve. Do you have the resources necessary to accomplished the goal? By example, if you wanna start practicing kickboxing, make sure you are financially able to pay for the annual fees. It seems simple but there’s a lot of people that can afford some type of sports and they stop going because of money.
Also, make sure that each goal that you have in mind are attainable and reasonable time-wise. It needs time and dedication to complete a specific goal. Make sure you incorporate the time needed to perform the actions toward the goal in the daily, weekly and monthly schedule. Write it down on the calendar or on a paper that you can look daily, this will help you on the long run.
Defined In Time
Some persons call it time-bound. Just deciding when you want to achieve something can motivate you to keep going. Time also need to be measurable, attainable and realistic. Are you setting yourself realistic deadlines to accomplish the goals and the actions that will lead you to the end goal?
Create Your Own SMART Plan
I hope this would guide to find the own perfect SMART plan. There is not a specific plan since everyone has different goals and will take different actions to achieve them. Same thing goes for the time. Some of you will HAVE to change some of their HABITS to find some space in their schedule. Parents will need to juggle between work and their kids but it is DOABLE.
I have a full time job and a 2-year-old kid and I found a way to practice enough to be able to accomplished my first two marathons in 2018! Once you have accomplished a goal, you feel awesome and proud. Everything you do in the life is for a feeling. Whenever it is good or bad.
So what are you waiting for? Believe in yourself, you will be surprise how far it will bring you. What will be the SMART Plan? Are you ready to set REAL long-term resolutions ? What will they be?
Please add a comment below and I will be sure to engage with you. If you guys have any questions feel free to ask.
I wish you the best holidays ever !
Stay strong and have a good one. Al