As a personal trainer, I both love and hate this time of year. At about the stroke of midnight on January 1st, the gym door opens and a swarm of buzzing motivation infiltrates the place. With their not-yet-washed Lululemon tights and open-backed Athleta tanks, the new girls flock to the elliptical machines and stairmasters. The boys arrive in their Beats earbuds and weight belts, heading straight to the bench press and bicep curl stations.
Every year, the newbies exceed my expectations. I expect them to last the month of January, but the majority of them last into mid February or even March. But sadly and inevitably, the swarm gathers and departs. The gym doors close and calmness prevails, with the same core group of retirees and neighborhood gym rats who have been here for numerous years now.
So why are the vast majority of New Year’s resolutions unsuccessful? The short answer is that they are too vague. “I’m going to get in better shape,” is not going to set you up for success.
There are New Year’s resolutions, and then there are S.M.A.R.T. goals. S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. A typical resolution might be “I’m going to exercise more.” A S.M.A.R.T. goal would be “I’m going to drop five pounds by May 1st by running 8 miles per week minimum and cutting milk and pasta out of my diet.”
Once you have decided upon a S.M.A.R.T. goal, your best recipe for success is to voice it through social media, a journal or in conversation with friends. Accountability is a huge key to success.
That said, I am going to announce my S.M.A.R.T. goals for 2018:
- Do a set of twelve dead-hang, parallel-grip pull ups by Jan 31
- Hex bar deadlift 250 pounds for at least two reps by Feb 28
- Improve my 2000 meter row time of 8:24 by March 31
- Decrease my body fat by 2% by March 31
- Improve my cycling FTP by 15 points from January to March 31
- PR in a 10K race or time trial (I have rarely raced a 10K so this should be cake)
- Break 5 hours at Ironman 70.3 Chattanooga in May
- Read 8 books in 2018
So that is my list. Fortunately, I am part of a small group working on similar fitness goals so we will have plenty of accountability. Some of the other goals include a one minute plank, 20 push ups, one pull up, dropping five pounds, etc.
What are your S.M.A.R.T. goals for 2018???