About three years ago, long before Brooklyn Crew changed my life, I was sitting at lunch with a few teacher friends, and we had just gone out and bought sandwiches and chips.
“Next week I will start my diet,” I said with conviction.
“Isn’t that what you say every week?” A friend asked.
My cheeks turned crimson with embarrassment. Had I reached that point? Was I really justifying my splurges that regularly? With “diets” that would never happen? I was humiliated.
That was a low point in my life. That was the day when I started to accept the person I had become. I had become someone who was unhealthy, out of shape, and unable to commit to a lasting change.
Resolutions, like my “diet,” mean nothing when action is not taken to fulfill them. We can justify our bad habits to ourselves and to others by saying that we will change, but none of that matters until we dedicate ourselves. “I am going to get in shape.” “I am going to eat better.” “I am going to be more positive.” “I am going to try new things.” I cringe when I hear that. Let’s set ourselves up for success in 2015 by setting SMART goals!
S = Specific. In order to make your goals specific, think about the 5 Ws: who, what, where, when, and why. So, instead of “I am going to get in shape,” let’s try a more specific goal, such as, “I am going to attend three Brooklyn Crew classes every week.”
M = Measurable. It is essential that you plan how you will measure your progress towards your goals. Otherwise, we set ourselves up to fail by not celebrating our success and by leaving the process open ended. Goals need to be measurable to keep on track and at a reasonable pace for lasting success. For example, “I am going to lose five pounds by February 1st.” Now you have measured the number of pounds and the amount of time!
A = Attainable. This is my favorite aspect of setting SMART goals because it is the part that most of us leave out of our resolutions, yet it makes the biggest difference in our level of success. For example, “I am going to eat better.” Yeah, sure, we all want to eat better all the time, but how is this attainable? We need to turn that resolution into something that does not feel so vast and far away. How about, “I am going to increase my protein intake everyday.” Okay, now we are getting at something. All of us are capable of finding ways to increase protein intake on a daily basis, be it through non-fat plain Greek yogurt, my personal favorite protein packed food, or by adding chicken breast to a salad, or by eating peanut butter on an apple, again, a favorite of mine.
R = Realistic. Let’s get real about this one. (Pun intended.) Do you really want to try new things? Is this something that is important to you? Oh, it isn’t? You are satisfied with the way things are? Then why are you trying to set that goal?! But you do want to get into shape. You are willing to work towards that goal? You are able to measure your progress with this every week? Sounds to me like you have found a more realistic resolution. (Just make it specific and measurable now!)
T = Timely. For most of us, open-ended, never-ending resolutions are the ones that we break within the first week of a new year. You should be reevaluating and resetting your goals with your progress. Let’s try that exercise again: “I am going to get in shape.” – “I am going to attend three Brooklyn Crew classes every week.” — “I am going to attend three Brooklyn Crew classes every week between January 1st and April 1st.”
Get smart! Do not let this year’s resolutions be unfulfilled wishes that you repeat every year. Who says you need to wait until New Year’s Eve to make that change you’ve been wanting to make? I certainly don’t. Make a change. Today.