Setting Better New Year's Resolutions

A pad of paper that says "2023 New Year's Resolutions"

It's that time of year again when people tend to reflect on the past year and consider what they hope to achieve in the next. For some, this is a time of hope for what the new year will bring, while for others, it can be a reminder of failed resolutions from the past.

If you have ever had a hard time sticking to your new years resolutions you are not alone! For better success with sticking to your resolutions this year, consider setting SMART goals.

Specific: Be clear and specific with your goal. Rather than setting a goal to be more active in 2023, think about how you plan to be more active. Maybe its playing basketball, getting a gym membership, going for a walk after dinner, or simply taking time to stand up and move around during work breaks.

Measurable: Make sure you have a way to assess your success! Ask yourself, how will I know when I have reached this goal? Consider using an app or chart to track your progress for things like nutrition or physical activity levels.

Achievable: Of course our goals should take some effort, but they also need to be realistic. Setting unrealistic goals often leads to disappointment and frustration. Set goals for things you can control, such as your behaviors. Be honest with yourself about what you can achieve. Is exercising five days per week to much for you? Consider aiming for two to three days per week. Does eating the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables a day seem overwhelming? Consider starting with one or two. Take a look at where you are at and where you want to go, then choose a goal that will give you a step in that direction.

Relevant: Think about why this goal is important to you. How does this specific goal help you accomplish the broader vision you have for yourself? Reminding yourself of this throughout the year can be a motivating factor helping you accomplish your goals.

Time-bound: Giving ourselves an end date for our goals helps to keep us accountable. How long do you plan to work on your goal? Keep in mind that once you accomplish one SMART goal you can always set another!

Check out the SMART goals below to get some ideas:

  • Eat at least one meal each day this week sitting down and without distractions (like phone, TV).
  • Choose one new recipe to make each week this month.
  • Go for a 30 minute walk after dinner three nights per week.
  • Pack your lunch from home three days each week instead of eating out.
  • Include one fruit or vegetable with each snack this week.
  • Take the stairs to your office at work every other day this month.
  • Spend 30 minutes each Sunday this month planning meals for the upcoming week.
  • Use resistance bands to exercise at home for 15 minutes two days per week every week this month.