Resolutions vs Goals

Well, here we are on day 92 of 2019...that’s about ¼  of the way through the year. How ya doing with your New Year’s Resolutions? Sticking with them? Or like most people - did they fly out the window by February (or earlier!)?

The problem with most “resolutions” is that they tend to be too vague - “I’m going to lose X pounds this year (be it 10, 25, or 50)” or “I’m going to eat healthier this year” and “I’m going to exercise more this year”. These type of resolutions are inherently flawed. In addition to being vague, they are often too lofty or not clearly defined. You chose a goal, but have no plan in place on how to get there. How can you do this in a way that will help you be more successful?

Instead of Resolutions - Set some SMART Goals

What is a SMART goal?

Specific - clear and unambiguous - stating specifically what is going to be accomplished

Measurable - be able to measure it so you know if you are making progress

Attainable - realistic to attain, achieving a goal helps make you encouraged and want to do more

Relevant - applicable to what you are trying to accomplish

Time-Bound - including a timeline for completion helps keep track progress towards goals

Let’s upgrade one of the resolutions from above to make it a SMART goal - instead of “I’m going to eat healthier this year”, it could look something like this - “I will eat a veggie-filled salad for lunch every day for the month of April”. This is specific, as it states exactly what is going to be done. It is measurable - if a salad is not eaten for lunch one day, then the goal is not met for that day. It’s attainable, as long as the person setting the goal feels that having access to the necessary foods to make a salad every day is possible. It’s relevant, because part of eating healthier is including more vegetables in one’s diet. Finally, it is time-bound as it is for the month of April. The hope would then be that this becomes a habit that sticks, and after the end of April the person who set this goal will continue with eating a salad most days for lunch, and they can then focus on another goal moving forward. This is how we truly accomplish big change -  making small adjustments to our habits, one at a time, over time - they add together and result in significant change.

Goals should be also adjustable - the objective is success, in some form...not total abandonment of the goal. So if the person who set the above goal does happen to miss having a salad for lunch, say, on April 10th, the plan would be to get right back to it on April 11th, not just throw in the towel and say “Well, I missed it yesterday, so I’ve failed.” I wouldn’t call having a salad for lunch 9 days in a row a failure! It’s important to plan ahead for obstacles, and know how you will tackle them. As the saying goes - we don’t plan to fail, we just fail to plan.


If you’re wanting to set some goals, but not sure where to start, reach out to us! Both Kristen and Sarah hold certifications in nutrition and health coaching. Set up an appointment with one of us to get started on your health and fitness journey, or to help refocus your efforts to achieve even greater results!