What are your thoughts… Yay👍🏻 or nay👎🏻 on New Year’s Resolutions? 

I believe that taking advantage of the “blank slate” offered at the beginning of the year can be a great tool when it comes to making positive changes for our health…with 2 catches: 1) don’t make a “resolution” and 2) don’t focus on restriction.

I don’t know about you, but in my experience, the word “resolution” = something that is rarely fulfilled…  in fact, research even suggests that only 8% of us will actually achieve our resolutions (hint: keep reading to find out how to be a part of the 8% crowd).

Regardless of those stats, I’m still all about the pursuit of self-improvement towards our best selves (January or anytime of the year) with a full disclaimer that “working on our best selves” is most productive when it emphasizes progress, not perfection and focuses on positive behaviors as opposed to eliminating ones we perceive as negative.

Perfectionism is not the same thing as striving to be your best. In fact its the thing that’s really preventing us from taking flight.

Furthermore, goals focused on self-improvement work best when they are derived from a place of self-love and not judgment. You can’t feel satisfied with the “later” until you can fully accept and make peace with the “now”.

In the words of Lori Deschene (Author of Tiny Buddha)… “We can’t hate ourselves into a version of ourselves we can love”. 

Instead, of making a resolution with a “new year, new me” mindset with a result-based goal such as weight loss, I encourage you to commit to an action-based goal that allows you to focus on a “new year, even better me” mindset. Preferably by creating a smaller, SMARTer goal that comes from a place of self-care and compassion.

So how do you create a SMARTer goal?

Follow the guidelines for a SMART goal, which is an acronym for the following…

  • S-pecific: Provide clear details when it comes to your goal and how you will accomplish it
  • M-easurable: Design your goal in a way that allows you to determine whether the goal will be accomplished 
  • A-ttainable: THIS ONE IS KEY! Only set goals that feel realistic for YOU, your current skills and abilities so that you can set yourself up for success and increase your quality of life, not reduce it. For example, if you currently don’t cook any of your meals and then make a goal to “cook ALL of your meals” this likely won’t be realistic, but if you commit to 1-2x per week you’ll be more likely to succeed or even exceed expectations 🙂
  • R-elevant: The goal must be aligned with your other (long-term) goals. Making smaller smart goals can help make larger goals more attainable
  • T-ime-based: Include when you will achieve the goal – specific information about how and when will get from where you are to where you want to be

Some thoughts to remember when it comes to creating SMART goals that are based in self-care, kindness and compassion…

  1. Choose goals related to strength/how you feel rather than appearance
  2. Don’t beat yourself up for making a mistake. Instead, think of a mistake as an opportunity for learning and growth. It’s ok to mess up… as long as you are willing to try again
  3. Embrace the journey over the destination
  4. Make it fun – the goal of self-improvement is to INCREASE our quality of life, not reduce it
  5. Last but not least, don’t confuse self-compassion as being “easy” on ourselves. Instead, think of it as a way of nurturing ourselves so that we can reach our full potential

If you want to learn more about how to create SMARTer goals rooted in self-care and compassion this year and receive 1:1 help check out my Nutrition Coaching Program and sign up for you Free 15 minute Discovery Call here.

Cheers to 2020 and here’s to making the most of it!