Be S.M.A.R.T. about your resolutions
The third week of the new year is approaching and according to The New York Times, one-third of people who made resolutions have already dropped them.
Many people become over-enthused about the potential and promise a new year brings and as a result, will set many high and unreachable goals.
The key to maintaining your New Year’s resolutions is to set small goals and make them realistic. Don’t tell yourself you’re going to lose 10 pounds in a month if you know you only have time to hit the gym two to three times per week.
Public Relations Professor Melissa May connects making New Year’s resolutions to a PR strategy used to set goals called S.M.A.R.T. This technique helps to make PR goals realistic and achievable. S.M.A.R.T. stands for strategic, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound and each of your New Year’s resolutions should meet these criteria if you want to stick with them.
“Making resolutions S.M.A.R.T. is simply logical,” May said. “How will you know if you’re making progress toward and ultimately when you’ve achieved your goal, if you are not measuring your progress?”
She suggests using numbers or percentages to achieve your goals, such as setting a certain number of times to go to the gym a week or specifying the number of calories you’re eating instead of just stating a goal to “lose weight.”
Making your goals “time-bound” is especially critical because by making tiny milestones, you are more likely to achieve them and can use this to motivate yourself.
One example of a S.M.A.R.T. goal could be cut back to four cigarettes per week by March 31 or eat no more than two desserts each week by Feb. 15.
Topping the list of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to lose weight.
Sophomore Stephanie Koeller, who is a fitness instructor at Seton Hall, recommended starting with something small, such as “making a decision to eat healthier. Allot an hour, maybe four times a week for the gym that way you don’t burn out too quickly.”
The last thing you want to do is discourage yourself with unattainable goals.
“Once you reach a goal, set another one,” Koeller said.
Continuing to shape and reinvent your goals to fit your changing life will help you to keep them. Writing down goals on sticky notes and placing them somewhere you’ll see every day is another helpful motivator.
Mackenzie Scibetta can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.