Making This Year’s Resolutions Stick

Whether you goal is to be on the bomb squad, loose 10 pounds, or just spend more time with your family, you must be SMART about it.

Whether you goal is to be on the bomb squad, loose 10 pounds, or just spend more time with your family, you must be SMART about it.

You have a New Year’s resolution.  You want to lose weight; get active; eat more of the green stuff on your plate.  You’re not alone.

According to some estimates, more than 40 percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions.  We want to better ourselves, and New Year’s feels like the perfect time to do it.  We imagine the crisp, paper-white New Year all ready for our improved selves to ink the story of our successes on it.  This year will be different.  Statistically, though, it usually isn’t. In 2013, University of Scranton published research suggesting only 8 percent of Americans achieve their New Year’s resolutions.  What was different about those 8 percent and what made their goals stick?

Resolutions tend to be wishes, vague commitments made in our minds, and if we fail we can neatly tuck those good intentions away and carry on with life as usual.  Goals are for the brave.  A goal says what you want to do, and outlines a plan for you to get there.  A goal comes from a resolved place in your soul that is courageous enough to say, “I need to do this, and even if I fail, I’m going to give it all I got.” So how do you write successful goals and be a part of the 8 percent?

smartgoals2Write it down.  Until you write it down, it is a wish, not a goal.  Is it really that simple?  A startling study by Harvard suggests this is the most powerful factor in beating the odds.  Consider this: Researchers polled the Harvard graduating class of 1953 and discovered that the 3 percent of graduates who wrote down their goals made, on average, more money than all the 97 percent of graduates combined.  If you don’t have the time to write down your goal, you won’t have the time to achieve it. By simply writing it down, you give yourself a chance to consider the specifics of your goal, instead of being vague and unhelpful.

Make SMART goals. Notice the 3 percent of Harvard graduates didn’t just write down a vague “I want to make a lot of money” and then were successful.  They wrote clear goals and had a plan for accomplishing them.  It’s not just that you write something down that matters, it’s what you write down that will set you up for success.  Besides, if you don’t know what the finish line is, how will you be able to make sure you will cross it?

SMART is an acronym for writing effective goals that stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound.  Assess your goal’s strength by asking these questions: Specific: Do you know exactly what you want to accomplish with all the details?

Take action within 48 hours. Within 48 hours, you will still have the excitement to get you some quick wins.  You will need some quick wins in order to keep up your motivation.  For example you could look up some Paleo recipes, find one you like, and try it for dinner.  Early success will give you greater self-efficacy—you will begin to believe you can do this!

Tell someone. Tony Robbins once said, “If you keep your goals inside you, you are missing out on the world that wants to help you.”  Your loved ones and your community want to help you realize your dreams of being a better you.  If your goal is to lose weight or to get stronger or to finally climb the rope for the first time, CrossFit is a safe community to be open about your goals.

CrossFit can help you accomplish your goals.  So you have a New Year’s goal.  Perhaps it is to lose weight or eat better.  CrossFit Fury has everything you need to set up your 2014 year for success.  The coaches are trained to help you write successful goals and help you take the steps toward conquering them.  You are supported and held accountable by your small-group workout community.  The Beyond the Whiteboard app allows you to measure your progress in the workouts and lifestyle choices.  The workouts are scaled to meet your needs as you build up strength and self-efficacy.  With all of the support, soon you will be a part of the 8 percent and helping others realize their goals as well.

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