Well as tempting as it is to set my New Year’s resolution as “new year, new me” there are a few issues with that simple yet catchy saying to be used as an actual goal for the new year.
First, let’s review what makes a good goal. To set up a good goal it should follow the SMART goal guidelines. SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realist, and Time. “New year new me” is not specific to what areas you are looking to change and therefore challenging to start, reach, and maintain. This also means that it’s challenging if not impossible to measure your success. Although on the surface it may seem achievable since even the smallest change when done consistently can have a ripple effect on the rest of your life, how many of us have said “ new year new me” and actually made consistent changes? There then comes the question of how realistic it is to reform your whole life. It is quite daunting to change everything, if not impossible. There are still responsibilities that we have to take into account, pets, spouses, homes, children, family, finances, current fitness levels, current skill set, etc. While some of these can be changed, some can be completely pushed aside. Lastly, the time frame will determine how long until you expect these changes to happen when you expect to reach the end of your goal, and since the “new you” that is the end goal is unclear and up for interpretation some changes may take a longer to reach and you are expecting to reach this new you by the end of the year or are you going to become this new person overnight?
While this “ new year new me” is not a great goal, it’s a great launching point. Identify which areas of your life are no longer working for you and question how you want to change them. Once you have identified how and what you want to change (get specific), you can find 3-4 habits that you can incorporate into your daily life to help you reach the goal. Getting specific on how and what you want to change can also make it clearer on how much time you will need to reach your goal, and you can set milestones along the way to monitor your progress.
For example, let’s say the “New Me” version wanted to improve their fitness by building strength. You are specific about what change you want to make ( fitness) by increasing your strength (your how). Next, you could set a 2-week goal to get familiar with your local gym and make sure you have the gear that you need to get started. Followed by strength progress but tracking the weights you use for your squats and bicep curls. You could set a goal that every 2-3 weeks you increase the weights you use by 5% (the fit principle which I will explain at a later date).
This breakdown now is achievable and, as long as getting to the gym fits into your life and responsibilities, is also realistic.
Of course, there will be changes based on your skill set, ability, and access to what you need to meet your goal. Yet that’s also part of the Specificity of the goal is to identify what skill you are lacking, the help you need, and what you need access to. If the closest gym is hours away from you, it is not realistic for everyone to carve out time to commute, work out, and commit to being consistent enough to see the improvements that you are looking for. Therefore, figure out how to use what you have consistently so you can develop the habits that make your goals possible.
Need Help? Check out my other articles about goal setting and habits. If you are looking for support to reach your health and wellness goals, I am offering a FREE 30-minute health assessment to discuss what help I can offer you.