Setting Smarter Goals After the New Year

Do you set a New Year’s Resolution this year? Are you making progress towards your goals?

The 1st of the year is seen by many as a fresh start; a time to look forward and set a New Year’s Resolution. New Year’s resolutions aren’t for everyone – in fact, less than 50% of people from one popular survey set a New Year’s Resolution, and an even smaller percentage will actually keep their resolutions.

How many of those people  jump into January feeling energized and excited to get started on a goal, but find themselves backsliding by the time February rolls around? Instead of beating ourselves up, remember that a goal can, and should be reevaluated and improved upon and that EVERY day is a good day to set a goal.

Give yourself some credit for even wanting to make a change, evaluate why that New Year resolution isn’t working, and set a new, SMART goal that will actually move you closer to whatever result you want to achieve.

How To (3)

SMART goal is a goal that is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound.

Specific – Was your goal specific in What, How and Why? One reason those goals to “lose weight,” or “get healthier” don’t always work is because there are no specifics on how to do that.

Measurable – How will you know you’ve achieved your goal? How will you measure your success?  By being able to measure a goal, you will have tangible evidence that you’re working towards your goal or meeting your goals.

Attainable – Your goal should challenge you, but shouldn’t be too out of reach that you never attain it. If you don’t cook for yourself at home, you shouldn’t expect yourself to cook 100% of your meals at home starting “this week.”

Relevant – This is the one that gets a lot of people – if the goal doesn’t mean very much to you, it’s hard to stay motivated to keeping that goal. WHY do you want to eat healthier, work out more, cook for yourself, lose weight, etc. The more the goal means to you, the more likely you are to actually stick to it.

Time-bound – This means you will have a time frame for meeting your long-term goal, but also for those shorter-term goals and steps along the way. Having a time-frame helps you determine what your steps along the way should be to meet your long term goal.

Once you’ve written your goal, write your actions to meeting the goal.


  •  I want to gain 20 lbs. by the first football practice of the fall.
    Action: Meet with the registered dietitian by calling the Sanford Sports Science Institute at 605-312-7878 and make an appointment. With the help of the dietitian, determine your individual nutrition plan that will help you gain X lbs. per week to meet your long-term body composition goal.
  • I want to eat more meatless meals by making 2 new vegetarian recipes per week.
    Action: Bookmark recipes online or in a vegetarian cookbook. Make a plan to shop once a week for ingredients for new recipes.
  • I want to be more active by walking 10,000 steps every day by March 1st, 2016.
    Action: Increase steps by 200 steps per day each week starting today until step count reaches 10,000 steps per day.
  • I will eat better to fuel my training this year by substituting my usual candy bar and chips snack with a healthier option.
    Action: Write out which snacks I will have for the week and pack in my bag: apples and walnuts, cheese stick and grapes, homemade trail mix, peanut butter and jelly, hardboiled egg and a pear, Greek yogurt with berries and granola, etc.
  • I will get stronger by going to the gym 3 times per week.
    Action: Find gym and get membership if you don’t have one already. Make the most of your gym time by getting a personal training plan. Remember – Fitness isn’t one-size-fits-all, and the team at Sanford POWER develops training programs to help you meet your personal fitness goals. From individual to large-group training, Sanford POWER training programs can help you reduce your risk of injury, improve overall health and fitness, and increase mobility, flexibility and strength.  Call today at 605-312-7800 to find out more on training options.