The end of the year is time to reflect on the past 12 months’ achievements and failures and set your sites on bigger and better things in the year to come. New Year’s resolutions are a common tradition this time of year, but are usually created without much thought and long forgotten by Valentine’s Day. Damn shame, because they are a seriously powerful tool that can set you up for success if created and followed up on correctly.
All goals (personal, health/fitness, professional, etc…) should be created as S.M.A.R.T. Goals. That is, they should be Specific, Measurable, Affirmative, Realistic and Time bound. For example, instead of saying “I want to be stronger,” a SMART Goal would be “I will deadlift twice my bodyweight by June 1st, 2011.” The SMART goal is not vague. You can measure it (there are numbers involved). It is said in the affirmative state, “I will,” not “I want.” It is realistic; if you currently have a 1.5x BW deadlift, this is completely within your grasp, and it is Time bound; give yourself a deadline.
Once your SMART goals are in place, it is simply a matter of having singular focus on that goal. Here is a little analogy to help you in your pursuit of a achieving your resolutions this year. Imagine yourself standing on a long path. At the end of this path is your goal. Obviously you want to walk down the path towards your goal and here’s how you get there. Dozens of times a day you are faced with decisions and these decisions will dictate whether you walk towards your goal or take a step away from it. Make the choice to lift heavy today and take a step towards your goal. Skip the workout and take a step back. THERE IS NO STANDING STILL on this path. Every decision, and every moment of your life, you are either taking one step closer or one step farther from your goal.
Don’t be overwhelmed by the magnitude and multitude of your decisions. Instead embrace the impact you can have on achieving your goals. Be SMART, walk down the path, and make 2011 the best year of your life.
Happy New Year Folks! *Thanks to Ben Bergeron for this article!