Lose Weight, get fit, eat healthfully, get adequate rest. Do these sound like some of your big plans for the New Year? Yet, planning is not everything. If your goal is to change your diet you need to define something smaller to make your goal achievable so you can take action.

You need to make your goals SMART.

S= Specific

Instead of making a goal of eating healthier, make it more specific. Maybe you decide this year you want to cut out dairy, or sugar, or gluten.

M= Measurable

Your goal needs to be trackable. Maybe you decide you want to add in 5 minutes of exercise every day. Schedule it into your calendar! What time will this happen? Hang up a calendar on your wall and place a sticker on everyday you achieve your goal.

A= Achievable

Ask yourself. Is my goal achievable? If you are planning to lose 75lbs this year but it took you 10 years to gain those 75lbs maybe losing it all in one year is not achievable?

R= Realistic

Is your goal realistic? This goes along with achievable. Take a good look at your life and your priorities and habits. Does your goal fit in with your priorities and habits or does it go against them? If it goes against them then it probably is not a very realistic goal.

T= Time Based

Set a time limit. I want to cut out dairy for 30 days. I want to sign up for weight loss coaching for three months. Having a time limit helps you get motivated to acheive your goal.

One very important action is to make time for exercise or eating healthy foods realizing you have to prepare ahead of time. Ask yourself when can I fit this in your day. If the gym is 5 miles out of your way, are you likely to make it there three times a week? Find out what may cause you not to make your yoga class for example and try to figure it out in advance the obstacles that may be in your way from being successful at your new goals.

For a new habit to stick, you need motivation and this is an individual thing. For some, it helps to track progress, for others just feeling how much better you feel is adequate motivation. You will need the motivation when the going gets tough around February. Maybe the answer is a personal trainer or it can be a group exercise instruction. Some of you can get motivated to exercise by just turning on your iTunes. If diet, exercise, and weight loss have been a goal or resolution for you over and over each new year and you still struggle to achieve success, consider, hiring a weight loss coach. A coach can give you support and accountability. You have to really enjoy what you are doing or it won’t stick.

Don’t let slip-up become an excuse for falling off your new goal plan. Instead, reschedule a missed workout. What if your two times a week limit for alcohol turns into four? Your alternative back up plan must include self compassion. Don’t get stuck in negative thinking remember it is hope and confidence that make people change.

What SMART goals have you set for yourself for the new year? I would love to hear about them. Please post in the comments!

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