10 New Year's Resolution Do's and Don'ts

It’s that time of year to wipe the slate clean and start anew.  Fitness goals are some of the most popular New Year’s Resolutions.  How you define and articulate goals are as important as making them.  Don’t let your good intentions get derailed by ineffective goal setting.  Set yourself up for success in 2014 by following these 10 Goal Setting Do’s and Don’ts.

  1. Do set goals that are S.M.A.R.T.  SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time bound.
  2. Do set goals that inspire you.  Don’t worry if your goals are different from everyone else’s.  Everyone “wants to lose ten pounds.”  Be inspired to achieve your first muscle-up or single-arm push-up and attack that goal with all your energy.
  3. Do set black and white goals and hold yourself accountable with Yes or No answers.  If your goal is to be gluten free, at day’s end honestly answer: “Yes, I ate gluten today.” or “No, I did not.”  Black and white goals leave no room for rationalization and half measures.
  4. Do see your list of goals on a daily basis.  I recommend putting them somewhere you will see them first thing in the morning.  This starts your day with the intention of what you will accomplish.
  5. Do share your goals with supportive people that will hold you accountable.  Positive peer pressure is a good thing.  Don’t share your goals with haters.  They will sabotage your efforts and talk you into lowering your standards.
  6. Do include behavioral goals that support your results-oriented goals. Behavioral goals dictate a specific action must be executed with a clearly defined level of consistency.  For example: exercising for one hour five days a week for a 90 days or taking a multivitamin every morning for 90 days.  Goals that dictate behavior lead to results you desire.  They’re a great compliment to results-oriented goals that have an end goal in mind, such as losing 20 lbs.  Results-oriented goals are good, but they don’t motivate you to act on a daily basis the way behavioral goals do.
  7. Don’t bite off more than you can chew.  There is only so much you can realistically change at one time.  You’re more likely to accomplish two goals than ten.  Start with two behavioral goals that compliment a results-oriented goal.  Only when you’ve executed your first two behavioral goals with consistency for 3 weeks should you add another 1-2 goals.
  8. Do set consequences if you don’t follow through with your behavioral goals.  The consequences must be something that really hurts, like giving $50 to brother in law or doing 75 burpees.
  9. Do celebrate your victories.  Don’t let those celebrations derail your progress.  For example, if your goal is to lose 20 lbs., don’t celebrate losing the first 10 lbs. with a pint of rocky road ice cream.  Treating yourself to a new pair of training shoes is a great way to celebrate.
  10. Do set goals that inspire you.  This point bears repeating because it is the most important.  Inspired people accomplish amazing things.

Follow these Do’s and Don’ts and accomplish your goals for a transformative 2014.

Be strong, move beautifully!