As 2024 arrives, the challenge of initiating new goals and habits can seem daunting. Studies show up to 80% of New Year's Resolutions are abandoned by the end of January!
We suggest setting and writing down your New Year resolutions as SMART goals, a widely used strategy in goal-setting. SMART goals serve as a framework to organize and plan the steps toward achieving any goal. In fact, simply writing down your goal increases your likelihood of achieving it by 42%!
So, what precisely do SMART goals entail and why are they so useful?The acronym SMART represents specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound objectives.
Specific: Clearly articulate your goal by writing down the details on who, what, where, when, and why. Clarity is essential. Instead of a vague statement like "I want to lose weight," offer more precision with something like "I aim to lose 10 lbs by March 1st by tracking my macros through meal prepping on Sundays." Defining your objective helps you clearly understand the necessary actions to achieve your goal.
Measurable: Quantify your goal using criteria like indicators or numbers to gauge progress. A common goal such as "I want to get stronger" can be transformed into a measurable goal, like "I aim to increase my back squat by 20 pounds by May 2024 through a structured strength program," providing clear measurement and easy tracking of progress.
Attainable: Make your goal challenging yet feasible with your existing resources. Setting an overly ambitious goal like mastering advanced gymnastic movements without foundational skills may set you up for failure. Beginning with a more achievable goal, such as mastering double-unders or improving kettlebell technique, establishes a solid foundation of functional training while building momentum and confidence.
Realistic: Align your goal with your current capabilities and resources to avoid objectives that may lead to frustration. Instead of expecting immediate mastery of complex movements, opt for a realistic goal like "performing a handstand push-up with proper form by March 1 by incorporating skill drills and progressive scaling."
Time-bound: Establish a clear timeframe to create urgency, prioritize, and stay committed. Rather than a vague commitment like "I want to compete in CrossFit this year" specify "I will complete a local CrossFit competition and achieve a top-50 finish by April 1 by following a targeted competition preparation program." Time-bound goals deter procrastination, helping you maintain focus and dedication to your 2024 objectives.
So write down those 2024 goals, and get to crushing them!
Additional tips for achieving your goals:
Add, Don’t Restrict: Shift your mindset from focusing on what needs to be eliminated to achieve your goals to what can be added to enrich your life. Instead of a restrictive list of foods to avoid, consider a goal of adding a ~20g protein source to each meal and ensuring you drink at least a gallon of water daily. This approach can lead to a more positive mindset when setting to achieve new habits and goals.
Accountability: Use accountability as a powerful motivator by initiating friendly competitions or incentives with friends, family, or colleagues in your journey. Shared accountability fosters a supportive and motivating environment, making the entire goal-setting process more enjoyable and sustainable.