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piecesBeing SMART About Resolutions

by Heather Green

 

We are in the midst of the holiday season with a new year looming before us. That signals that it’s time to start thinking about making resolutions for 2020. I’ve written about resolutions before and how over 80% of resolutions made fail by February. One reason for this is January (refer to my previous article on resolutions: “I Blame January”) and another reason I believe resolutions fail is that they are not SMART resolutions.

 

In business, there is an acronym for new goals. This is to keep them SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. I think this should also apply when making resolutions, so let’s talk resolutions for a moment and how we can be successful in the year ahead.

 

Probably the most popular resolution is to lose weight and/or start exercising. So, how can we make this resolution more sustainable? Well, let’s set a specific goal – I want to lose 30 pounds and I want to exercise 30 minutes a day a minimum of 5 days a week. We were specific, but obviously we are not going to reach these goals in a month so let’s break it down into more manageable and realistic smaller goals. Plan to lose 5 pounds a month (that’s roughly 1.25 pounds a week) and start exercising 5 minutes a day 5 days a week. This could mean that you get up 5 minutes earlier and do a few sit-ups or walk around your office during lunch. There are plenty of ways to work in 5 minutes of exercise. Do this for a month until it becomes a habit (did you know that it takes a minimum of 21 days for something to become a habit?), then increase to 10 minutes a day. If you keep adding 5 minutes of exercise each month, in 6 months you’ll reach your goal of exercising 30 minutes a day. It seems much more manageable when it’s started in increments.

 

It’s easy to create a SMART resolution when it comes to losing weight or exercising more because these goals are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely, but it’s a little harder when we want to make other resolutions that are more abstract, such as reading the Bible, going to church more, being a better Christian, becoming more involved in church, and so forth. With any of these resolutions, stop and think of ways to make them work for you. And if you’re really motivated, why wait until the new year to begin? If anyone wants to set reading the Bible as a goal, start December 1st with the Book of Luke. There are 24 chapters. If you read a chapter a day, by Christmas Eve you will have read the entire book of Luke’s account of Jesus’s life. What better way to celebrate Christmas?

 

On a side note, we are taking a month or two away from the newsletter, in order to refocus and redefine ourselves as a committee. I strongly encourage you to go back and reread some past issues – you can find them on the website or in your email archives – and reflect on some of the topics we’ve covered. I wish you all the best as we ring out 2019 and ring in 2020. May God bless you with health and happiness in the New Year.