How SMART are your New Year's Resolutions?

How SMART are your New Year's Resolutions?

Statistics tell us what we already know: it’s become almost as cliché to fail at our New Year’s resolutions as it is to make them in the first place. Almost half of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, but only 8 percent of us actually achieve them.

So, what is it about a New Year’s resolution that practically invites failure? Perhaps we need to examine our understanding of the word resolution. Do we know what a resolution truly is? A resolution isn’t simply a verbal expression of wishful thinking. According to, resolution can be defined as “the act of resolving or determining upon an action, course of action, method, procedure, etc.”

Making a resolution should be much more than simply putting our goals into words. It should be about determining the course of action required to achieve the goal. A resolution is a process. But where does the process start?

It starts with choosing and defining a goal that we are likely to achieve!

Cue the SMART Goal. What’s a SMART Goal? A SMART goal is the nerdy, soft-spoken little sibling of the attention-grabbing New Year’s Resolution. Unlike New Year’s resolutions, which tend to be lofty, hollow and full of bling, SMART goals are practical, concrete and reasonable.

The name SMART goal comes from the acronym which defines it: Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic and Time-bound.

So the perennial New Year’s resolution to “lose weight” becomes the SMART goal to lose twenty pounds by the 4th of July by monitoring food portions, eliminating sugary beverages, and walking thirty minutes a day.” Before we’ve even had time to fall of the wagon, we’ve created a plan of action to set us up for success. In short, we’ve not just defined an attainable goal—we’ve also created a strategy to make it happen.

SMART goals have one further advantage over New Year’s resolutions: we can make them 365 days a year. So if you’ve already lost your 2017 New Year’s resolve, don’t despair. Get out a pen and paper and write yourself a SMART goal!

And if you need extra help, we have a whole team here who want nothing more than to help you improve your health. Call the Center for Good Health at (616) 394-3344 to find out how our team of personal trainers, wellness coaches, fitness instructors, medical exercise specialists, dietitians and diabetes educators can help.

Wishing you a great 2017,

New Years Resolution Statistics


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