Among the most common New Year’s Resolutions are those that promote better health. The best intentions of dropping a few pounds, exercising more or eating better may fail however, if the resolutions are not made with a little planning beforehand. Studies show that only about half of those participating in a resolution study  were confident of successfully reaching their goals and only 1 in 8 actually achieved their goals. Those who achieved their goals were more likely to use specific goal setting techniques, make their goals known to others and got support from friends.

One way to make your New Year’s Resolutions achievable is to make them S.M.A.R.T. goals:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Time-targeted

For example, resolving to “lose some weight in 2012” is not a good way to set a goal. Instead consider a resolution to:

Using a combination of eating less and walking 30 minutes per a day (specific), I will lose 1 pound per a week (measurable) for the next 10 weeks (achievable and time-targeted) so as to be within my ideal body weight (realistic).

Including your spouse or best friend in on your resolution may help not only with the added support, but also by having someone to keep you away from temptation and perhaps participate with you. So, make your 2012 Resolutions S.M.A.R.T and achievable!

  • Image Source:  digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net (Unless otherwise noted, all images are models and not actual patients.)
  • Copyright: Karol A. Gutowski, M.D., Chicago, IL, 2012