It’s never too early to start implementing healthy habits. And after all, it will be 2018 next week! Use this blog post as a guide for creating the perfect New Year’s resolution. The following principles can also be applied to any other goal or target you may have.

I want you to design a SMART New Year’s resolution. That is, a goal that is; Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely.

The first step is to make your goal / New Year’s resolution specific. If you only have a vague idea of what you want, you will get a vague outcome. As an analogy, how will Google Maps get you to a particular street, if all you’ve entered is the suburb? You need to know exactly what it is that you want. As an example, “I want to have less aches and pains” is a great start, but we could refine that further to “I want to get rid of my lower back pain”. Now we have something specific we can work towards.

Ensure that your goal is measurable. If you can’t measure the goal, how will you know when you have reached it? For example, if your goal is to “look better” you are setting yourself up to fail because you cannot measure how you “look”.  You can however measure the diameter of different body parts. So a better goal could be “ I want to increase my arm size by 2 inches”.

So now your New Year’s resolution is specific and can be measured. That’s great, but is it achievable and realistic? I know, you want everything to happen, and you want it right now! Just be mindful of the limitations in your life. We’re not in sales and we’re not pushing to meet an unobtainable budget. We want to set a realistic target that we know, is one hundred percent possible to achieve.  It is extremely demotivating when you set the bar too high, only to fall short.

You’ve almost got the perfect resolution for 2018. The last step is to put a time limit on your goal. This not only keeps your goal measured, but it keeps you accountable to yourself. How many school or university assignments do you think would be handed in if there weren’t a due date? Incorporate a time limit to your New Year’s goal. A good example could be “I want to lose 10 kilograms by the end of June”. Just like a well-written assignment, you can’t cram the night before to lose 10kgs!

Now it’s your turn, get cracking on your SMART New Year’s resolution.