It has only been two and a half weeks since the 2017 began, but for many of us, it is already necessary to evaluate our New Year's resolutions. Almost 30% of Americans give up on their resolutions within the first two-weeks of January. Less than half of us are still on track to complete our goals by the time summer rolls around. Sadly, only around 8% of us will complete our resolutions.
Before you throw in the towel on your resolutions, consider reevaluating and restating your goals. "We must create a plan, which is unique to us, in order to keep ourselves motivated until we accomplish our goals," writes Lindsey Buffaloe, of YMCA Camp Harrison in North Carolina.
We have compiled this list of four questions to help you evaluate your New Year's Resolutions and determine if restating your goals is the key for you to reach the finish line:
1) What is the Motivation for Your New Year’s Resolutions?
This year, over a third of Americans made resolutions related to health improvements, weight-loss, and exercise. At the start of each year, we resolve to eat healthier, diet, and workout; however, over 42% of Americans say they have never succeeded in achieving their resolutions. If you are among the millions who resolved to improve your health, your success depends at least in part on your motivation.
Are you living healthier to please others, or yourself? Do you want to have more stamina to play with your children, lower your risk of heart disease, spend more time with your family, or do you feel pressure from culture to change your appearance?
Many times, we are motivated by the thoughts and feeling of others, rather than by our personal convictions. Until we convince ourselves that we need to make a change, it is unlikely we will actually attempt to do so.
2) Are your New Year’s Resolutions S.M.A.R.T?
Once you have determined your motivation for keeping your New Year’s resolutions, evaluate whether your goals are SMART. SMART is an acronym that stands for: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Bound.
- Specific: Your goals should be specific. You want to job 3 miles, five times per week. You want to lose 15 pounds by June.
- Measurable: How will you measure success? Did you lose 15 pounds by June. Did you run 3 times per week?
- Attainable: Make sure what you need to succeed: healthy food recipes, running shoes, etc.
- Realistic: Set goals that are possible. They should stretch you, but not require a miracle to complete.
- Time-Bound: Your resolutions should include a realistic timeframe for expected results. If you do not reach your goal in the amount of time you set, what will you do to catch up, rather than give up?
3) Do You Have a Team and Accountability?
Who cares whether you achieve your resolution goals? Who knows what you have resolved to accomplish in 2017? To accomplish your goals, it is important to develop a team of friends, family, and/or coworkers to hold you accountable and help you measure success. If your team is comprised of people who are also striving to accomplish resolutions, you will all be able to help motivate each other.
4) What Incentives are Offered by Your Employer?
Healthy people are less likely to miss work and are more productive while on the job. Research whether your employer offers wage or benefit incentives accomplishing healthy living goals. If you are an employer, consider setting health and wellness benchmarks and creating incentives to help your team live healthier.
The right goals, motivation, team, and incentives will help you reach your New Year’s resolutions. For more information about eating healthy, visit our blog and resources page.