May is the month when we realize almost half of the year is gone and we are still behind on our to-do lists, retirement planning, and most importantly, our New Year’s resolutions we so eagerly set on January 1st. According to Time Magazine, five of the top ten commonly made New Year’s resolutions are health related. These health-related resolutions include:
- Losing weight and getting fit
- Quitting smoking
- Eating healthier
- Reducing stress
- Drinking less alcohol.
Are any of these on your resolutions list for 2012? Are ALL of these on your list?
If you are surprised May is already here and your resolutions are still lying there, staring at you, even taunting you, then it is time to realize your plans in January to become healthier, and perhaps lose weight or even stop smoking, need re-evaluation. Did you set unrealistic goals to lose too much weight too soon? Did you attempt to make too many resolutions and the mere thought of all those changes put you in ‘lock down’ mode? Or did you conveniently ‘forget’ about those promises you secretly made to yourself as the clock ticked midnight to ring in 2012? Regardless of the reasons you still haven’t achieved or even worked on those resolutions to become a healthier person, it isn’t too late to achieve your goals.
A resolution without a plan is simply a dream. I am sure you put careful thought into your 2012 resolutions. Or, perhaps you just performed a “copy and paste” from last year’s unattained goals. Regardless of how you created your resolutions, many people forget to make a plan on how to achieve these goals. In order for resolutions to become reality, they must be SMART:
Simply put, your health-related resolutions must have a plan. Goals need each of the aforementioned criteria to be achieved. Dust off your list of resolutions and ask yourself the following SMART questions:
- What are your goals? For example, simply listing weight loss is not specific enough. Put down a weight that you would like to lose.
- How will you measure success? If weight loss is your goal, are you only measuring it on the scale? Use other methods too, like tape measurements around your waist or even fitting into those skinny jeans hanging in the back of your closet.
- How do you plan on achieving your goals? If you want to get in better shape, put down how you plan to do it. Lifting weights two times per week, attending a boot-camp style fitness class every Saturday, and doing cardiovascular exercise every Tuesday and Thursday are good examples of how you could make those fitness-related resolutions come true.
- Are your goals realistic in the time frame you have in mind? Everyone wants to lose weight quickly, but the reality is – you didn’t gain it overnight; you won’t lose it overnight either! Make sure your goals make sense. Set short-, medium-, and long-range goals to keep you in check and on track.
- Did you give yourself a certain amount of time to achieve your 2012 resolutions? If you didn’t assign a date for completion of your goals, you are likely to carry these over to 2013. In order for a resolution to be achieved and not simply remain a dream, you must hold yourself to a specific date or time to get these goals completed.
Make 2012 the year you achieve your health-related resolutions. It isn’t too late to turn your dreams into reality and ensure you will not “copy and paste” resolutions ever again. Contact me if you like guidance on reaching your goals.