In the rush buy into the “new year, new you” propaganda before January 1, too many of us make lofty resolutions without a strategy to follow through. We create vague lists like, “lose weight, sleep more, and stress less,” but it’s difficult to measure success without specifics. Fortunately, the beauty of resolutions is that it’s never too late to make one. Here are four examples of quantifiable resolutions you can make this year.
According to Psychology Today, losing weight, exercising more, and quitting smoking are the most common resolutions. Weight loss, in particular, tends to be a popular goal following weeks of holiday indulgences. The fastest way to fail, however, is to decide to lose weight without giving yourself an amount or a timeline.
The SMART resolution—that’s one that’s specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound—would be something like, “Lose 10 pounds in 3 months.” According to the Center for Disease Control, you shouldn’t aim to shed more than 1-2 pounds per week, so a 12-week goal gives you plenty of time to meet the goal. If you’re trying to drop a significant amount of weight—like 20, 30, or 50 pounds—talk to a wellness professional to create a SMART diet and exercise plan that will work for you.
Gyms are full of resolutioners who decided to exercise more in the new year. Most of those people disappear within two weeks. If you really want to commit to exercise, you need to establish SMART metrics. Try making a specific resolution like, “Exercise at least three times per week for 30 minutes.” If you’re new to fitness, consider incremental resolutions like, “Exercise once a week for 30 minutes in January, twice a week for 30 minutes in February, and three times a week for 30 minutes in March.” By easing into a workout plan, you’re more likely to stick to your new routine.
If you want to dive even deeper into fitness specifics, consider targeting all three areas of exercise: strength, cardio, and flexibility. All three are part of a happy, healthy body, and there’s no time like the present to establish good habits. Need help getting started? The TRX Home2 System comes with both a TRX Suspension Trainer and TRX App workouts to help you achieve your workout goals.
Sleep helps you feel better, think more clearly, avoid sickness, and lost weight. A good night’s sleep is one of the best things you can do for yourself, but it’s easy to fall off the sleep wagon when work and family obligations come up.
Instead of resolving to sleep more, try crafting a resolution like, “Turn off electronic devices one hour before bedtime, and sleep seven hours each night.” Research shows that screen time can sabotage your sleep, and implementing a screen ban on top of a minimum sleep goal will help you get better rest.
It’s no surprise that stress is bad for you. It can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes—and those are just a few of the common health factors. But you can’t resolve your way out of stress. Despite your best efforts, family and career obligations will eventually expose you to stressful scenarios. What you can control, however, is preparing yourself to cope with stress. Meditation can help.
Meditation is an easy, accessible way to take a break from whatever is stressing you. You don’t need special equipment, locations, or guides to meditate, but some people find apps like Calm or Headspace useful for establishing a meditation practice. The best way to begin is to start with short sessions. A SMART meditation resolution might be, “Use a guided meditation app for five minutes daily in January, and increase meditation sessions by one minute each month through December.” By training yourself to slow down and focus—even for short periods of time—you’ll be better equipped to deal with stress in the future.
The best goal is a SMART goal. No matter what resolutions you make for the new year, be sure to set resolutions that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. With quantifiable metrics to measure your success, this can finally be the year you stick to your new year’s plans.