How many New Years Resolutions have you made in your life? How many of them have you actually kept?
Every year, losing weight and getting fit are in the top five resolutions that people in the United States make. Unfortunately, exercise-related resolutions are usually the easiest ones not to keep, as things like lack of time, low motivation, and other barriers get in the way.
But there is good news for all of us who make these resolutions anyways.
Experts say that if you make a resolution to get in shape, you are more likely to actually follow through than those who make no resolutions at all.
According to researchers at the University of Scranton, about 45 percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, and about eight percent achieve their goal.
As most people who lead or participate in health programs know, good intentions are only half the battle, and even the best intentions are often not enough to bring about a lasting change.
Arizona-based wellness and weight management coach Lauve Metcalfe says that unrealistic expectations are why many people have a difficult time keeping New Year’s resolutions. Some have even said that New Years resolutions can have a negative impact when they’re not met, lowering already-existing feelings of inadequacy and negative self-image.
So how do you make your resolutions, especially those about exercise, more realistic, and ultimately attainable? Make them S.M.A.R.T.
Jacqueline Ratliff, an exercise physiologist with the American Council on Exercise, borrows this acronym used for goal-setting in many workplaces, and says:
“With regard to New Year’s resolutions, it is important for people to make these goals S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound).”
So whether you’re already pressing the snooze button instead of hitting the gym in the morning, or you’re still trying to figure out which healthy resolutions you should be making this year, remember that making a resolutions is an important first step, and consider making your professional and personal goals S.M.A.R.T. this year.