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Are New Year's Resolutions Worth It?

As the Christmas period comes to an end, your belly full of delicious Christmas treats and the presents under the tree finally being put to use, you're probably seeing the same trend on your social media feeds as I am: New Year's resolutions. Are New Year's Resolutions worth it? Is there a better way to smash your 2024 goals?


Champagne chilling in an ice bucket

I'm going to share a big fitness professional no-no that would ruffle the feathers of every wellness-influencer-girlie that you follow on socials: you don't need to set a New Year's resolution. Quite honestly, I think they're a waste of time! I have worked with clients, both in person and online, for over five years across four countries. All of those clients have come to their fitness and nutrition journeys with a common foundation: there is a goal in place.


Which is exactly what you need at the start of your new year: a goal (more than one, if you like). Not just any goal; a SMART goal.


Keep reading to discover how you can set a New Year's goal that you can stick to, and accomplish- maybe even before the deadline you've set for yourself.


 

Why are New Year's resolutions worth it?

I don't want to confuse you; having a habit or behaviour that you want to make commonplace in your every day operations in order to feel better about yourself is absolutely worth it.


Why are New Year's resolutions a waste of time?

Say you have a New Year's resolution to lose the baby weight. That's great! Go for it.


However, your resolution leaves a few questions that need to be answered.


How much time are you giving yourself to lose that weight? Is there a specific number that you want to see on the scale? What happens if something comes up along the way that impedes your progress towards your goal? Why do you want to lose the baby weight?


There's an effective way to reframe your resolution into a goal, so that you aren't left with end-of-year guilt for not achieving what you've set out to do.


And I'm about to share with you exactly how to do just that!


 

SMART Goal Setting For High Performing Creatives


Let's use the aforementioned "I want to lose my baby weight" (resolution) goal as your example.


It needs to be SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely.


Specific

Get specific about what you want to accomplish. Consider the who, what, which, where, when, as well as the why around your goal.


Who is it? You.

What are you doing? Losing weight.

Which weight are you losing? The weight you gained in having a baby (spoiler alert: men have an increased BMI during the newborn stage too).

When are you losing the baby weight? In the new year.

Why are you losing the baby weight? This is often the hardest question to answer because you could be ashamed of the answer.


Being honest and specific with yourself is the hardest part of setting goals and adhering to them. I know you can do it.


Measurable

This is the part of New Year's goal setting where you determine what metrics you will use to determine when you have reached your goal. These metrics can be qualitative as well as quantitative.


In regards to losing your baby weight, this could look like; taking chest/waist/hip measurements, committing to a weekly weigh in (if you have a healthy relationship with the scales), or even getting a DEXA scan to get a comprehensive picture of where you are in terms of progression throughout the year.


Whatever metric you use, make sure it's one that you can commit to checking in with regularly so that you can create your trajectory of progress.


Achievable

Making sure your goal is achievable is so important! It helps you determine whether you are ready to physically put in the work towards making your goal a reality or not.



My coach was realistic about the changes which was extremely helpful. We went step by step rather than trying to take giant leaps. This helped me achieve my goals by realizing how realistic change was. Bronwyn followed up and checked in to see how I was doing and was able to make adjustments quickly. I feel overall better.

Let's apply this to your baby weight loss goal: do you know how to lose weight with a calorie deficit? Do you have hormonal imbalances that have been addressed with your doctor which you fear might be a hindering factor to your progress? Do you need healthy recipes to replace take out meals? Do you have a fitness routine that you can commit to and enjoy?


Seeking out the resources to lose your baby weight doesn't have to end with just you. It can include enlisting the help of outside professionals such as personal trainers, nutritional therapists, fitness instructors, cookbooks, research, supplements, and regular visits to your GP.


Relevant

Creating a goal that is in line with your current values, aspirations, and beliefs as a human is an important part of your overall vision for yourself and the context of your particular goal.


This is another aspect of goal setting which enables you to establish the why behind your goal. Why do you want to lose your baby weight?


Is it because you think society will value you more if you have less weight?


Is it because of health concerns that have been brought up with your doctor?


Do you want to lose weight in order to feel more energetic, more confident, and/ or feel better about the clothes you can choose to wear?


Do you feel like it's just what people do after they have a baby, and that's why you need to do it too?


Timely

This is the fun part of goal setting; determining your time frame in order to reach your goal.


Establishing a time frame can create drive and enhance motivation towards goal achievement. You can also create checkpoints for a "halfway" or "quarterly" mark in order to evaluate the current effectiveness of the efforts that you put into reaching your goal.


This is also an opportunity to be realistic with yourself; don't put pressure on a time frame or checkpoint that doesn't give you enough time to physically enact change long enough to establish it's benefit (or lack thereof).


Say you decide that you're going to go to the gym four days per week, and stop eating after 9pm in order to start your progression towards losing your baby weight. You try it for one week, perform your metrics to measure progress, only to find that you haven't made as much progress as you had hoped.


You need to give change time to enact effect. It feels so tedious! It's absolutely necessary, though. If you don't allow for adequate time to lose your baby weight, you will become frustrated and less motivated to keep going on your journey.


 

What can you take away from SMART goal setting?


Goals are worth more of your time and efforts than resolutions in the new year.


SMART goals allow you to get specific, put something in place that's achievable, be realistic with yourself and your circumstances, and establish a time frame in order to get things accomplished.


Goal setting directs attention and action, mobilizing effort to achieve goals which contributes to motivation. Goals empower you through the learning of new strategies for achievement.


Are New Year's resolutions worth it? No, but New Year's SMART goals are.

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