New Years Preparation

New Years Preparation

2021 is slowly coming to an end which means it’s time to reflect on this past year and make some goals for the new year!

Let’s start by thinking about what went well this year! Even if you didn’t achieve perfection in terms of your 2021 goals, remember that perfection doesn’t exist and any progress made is good progress! Celebrate what went well and take a few minutes to think about what could have gone better, use this as a learning experience as you prepare to set some goals for the new year.

Now, let’s set some new goals! Remember, repeating goals from the year before is totally fine, but take into consideration how you can improve upon this repeat goal and set yourself up for success.

I talk about this quite a bit, but it’s for a good reason, because it works: setting SMART goals! If you need a refresher on how to set SMART goals here it is:

The SMART system:

Specific: Be specific, instead of just saying “I want to exercise more” pick a specific exercise, such as walking or a Zumba class.

Manageable: Is this goal actually manageable for your schedule? If it is too ambitious it may be unattainable for you causing you to feel discouraged when you aren’t able to stick to it. An example would be: meeting a friend at the gym 3 times a week, but the gym is 45 minutes away from you and you have a busy work and family schedule, this doesn’t sound very manageable or practical. Maybe once a week is more manageable and then the other 2 days can be at-home workouts or workouts closer to home?

Achievable: Is this goal achievable? Meal prepping weekly on a Sunday afternoon most likely won’t be a realistic goal if you always have family over on Sunday afternoons to watch football. Perhaps Sunday morning would make more sense?

Relevant: Is this goal relevant to you? If you have never enjoyed running and it has never been an interest of yours to get into running, it doesn’t make sense to set a goal to run a mile 4 times a week just because your friend or family member set that as their goal.

Time bound: Giving a deadline to your goal helps you to see it as a priority that needs to be finished versus something that you can keep putting off until later.

So, how do we tie this all together and set a SMART goal? Here is an example:

I will do my favorite 20 minute exercise video 3 evenings per week for the first 3 months of 2022 (after those 3 months you can set new goals or continue with this goal for another time frame!)

It’s time to set some SMART goals! Best wishes for a happy and healthy 2022!

Maryann Walsh, MFN, RD, CDE
Registered Dietitian/ Nutrition Communications Specialist