As the new year creeps up on us, it’s time to start making resolutions for 2022. While it may be tempting to make big, life altering goals, it’s important to consider several things when making your resolution list.
Think back to new year’s resolutions you’ve made in the past. Were you able to achieve them? How long were you motivated to keep up the changes? Were the goals realistic for you?
These questions are great starting points in determining what some realistic goals for you may be. Choosing the same goal each year is not the best idea (learn from your mistakes!).
In this article, we go over a few tips that will help you create great new year’s resolutions that you can achieve this upcoming year!
1. Make the goal as specific as possible.
When making a goal, you want to be as specific as possible. Just saying you want to “lose weight”, “have more energy” or “run faster” isn’t very specific and can be hard to achieve.
How much weight do you want to lose? How will you measure the increase in energy? How much faster will you like the run?
Here is an example of a good goal: I will lose 10 lbs over the next 6 months by adding in a daily 20 minute walk and reducing my calories by 100 calories per day.
As you can see, this goal is very specific. It includes numbers, a timeline, and means to achieve this goal. You know how you will achieve this goal and exactly when you would have reached this goal.
So, when you come up with a goal, be as specific as possible, the more specific, the better.
2. Include actions, not just results.
While it’s easy to set a goal like, “lose 10 lbs” or “increase squat by 50%”, what makes a goal good is including the means by which you will achieve this goal.
How will you lose 10 lbs? How will you increase your squat? Think about how you will achieve this goal.
Here is an example: I will increase my squat by 50% (from 135lb to 205lb) by progessive overload. I will add one rep to my squat every week for 12 weeks and increase the weight once I reach 12 reps.
As you can see, once you create an action plan, the goal seems easier to achieve. If you don’t have an action plan, you’ll find yourself stuck at the same place by the end of the year.
3. Create little goals or milestones along the way.
Once you have an action plan, it’s now time to create little goals and milestones along the way. This way, you get a little bit of satisfaction along the way, which can be motivating on the way towards your big goal.
For example, if you are trying to improve your squat strength, you can set little goals for each month. That may look a little like this:
Month 1: 135lbs for 6 reps
Month 2: 145lbs for 6 reps
Month 3: 165lbs for 6 reps
Month 4: 185lbs for 6 reps
Month 5: 205lbs for 6 reps
Having these little goals not only is motivating, but helps you stay on track. If you can’t reach your monthly goal, it’s also a good time to reflect. Is this goal realistic for you? Do you need more time to reach these goals? Is your goal too big? What can you do next month to achieve this goal?
4. Be realistic.
Being realistic is so so so important. It’s tempting to make a big goal based on where you’d like to see yourself, but that goal may not be the best fit for you.
Personally, I always wanted to be as small as possible in high school. My goal was to be the skinniest I could be on the BMI scale without being underweight. But, my body always naturally fell on the higher side of the normal weight BMI.
I spent years trying to reach this goal only to always settle back at the same weight. Now, I release that my body is happy and healthy at my current weight and trying to lose weight is pointless and draining.
I encourage you to consider the same things. What’s most important in your health and wellbeing. If the goal you set is getting in the way of achieving this, perhaps it’s not the best goal for you.
If you are trying to lose weight due to health concerns, it’s important to note that a majority of health benefits are seen with the first 5-10% of weight loss. That’s only 10-20 lbs if you are 200lbs. Use this as a starting point, and if you are able to achieve this somewhat easily, you can consider trying to lose more weight.
5. Give yourself a timeline.
Finally creating a set timeline is going to be very important when it comes to setting a goal. How long are you giving yourself to achieve your goal? 6 months? 12 months? 6 weeks?
Consider all of the things mentioned above. Is this timeline specific? Realistic?
Here is an example of a goal with a good timeline: I will reduce my mile time to 7:30 by running for 45 minutes, 3 times a week for 6 months, while reducing my mile time by 5 seconds each week.
This goal specifies that the timeline is 6 months. This is the amount of time you have to achieve this goal. Along with this, the goal is specific, realistic and measurable.
Final Thoughts on New Year’s Resolutions in 2022
In the end, you want to create specific goals that are realistic and actionable. To end the article, I wanted to share a few examples of awesome goals for the new year.
Example 1: Gain 10 lbs over 6 months by increasing daily calories by 200 each day and strength training 4 times per week.
Example 2: Increase bench press PR by 30lbs by increasing weight by 5lbs every 2 weeks for 12 weeks.
Example 3: Eat 1 extra cup of veggies 3-4 times per week at dinnertime for 4 months.
Example 4: Make my bed first thing in the morning on weekdays for 6 months.
If you struggle with binge eating and an unhealthy relationship with food, I provide a ton of resources on my website. Check out my online course and ebook for more information!