How to Set a SMART Resolution

You’re reading this, so you’ve either searched for info on how to set (and stick to) a New Year’s resolution, or you’ve clicked a link to find out how to do the same thing. Or, you just stumbled onto this page and thought, “Why the hell not? Let’s read on and see what these BodyRock bozos have to say about NYE rezzies.”

Well, we bozos know a lot. The main thing we know is that New Year’s resolutions seldom work in the long-run. We also know that when this happens, people get defeated and revert back to their old habits, hardcore. We’ve seen it, over and over again. We’ve even had it happen to us. It’s easy to get caught up in the big picture, big show resolutions, especially in this day when everyone is sharing their transformation stories on your social feed, and  — to the untrained eye — the transformation seems to quick and easy.

The truth, of course, is that making a new habit and breaking an old one is neither quick or easy. Not if you want the changes you make to last. Nurturing permanent change takes time. It also takes starting from a solid foundation, and that’s what you’re going to do here, right now.

Keep reading. Here’s what you need to know about setting a smart new year’s resolution.


1. Start Small

The idea of making huge changes can be enticing, but the reality of living these changes is more easily digested if you work on a smaller scale. Research shows that setting small, realistic goals is the best way to reach bigger ones. For example, if you want to lose 40 lb, you wouldn’t set that as your goal. It’s too vague; too open. Instead, you’d set the very modest goal of making time to do a HIIT session for 12 minutes, 3 times a week. That’s it. You don’t commit to working out 6 days a week if you’ve never worked out before. You start small, and you stick with that one change until it no longer feels like a change; until it’s your new normal. Once it is, you set a new goal, and take another small step.

2. Be Realistic

Want to clean up your diet and eat more plant-based foods? Amazing! But guess what, you don’t go from scarfing down Big Macs on the regular to being a confirmed, clean eating guru in a matter of days, or even weeks. You start with a goal you can realistically stomach: swap out your 2pm trip to the vending machine for an apple and some raw almonds. Think back to our first point and remember: master this goal until you no longer fight to resist the mid-afternoon call of Zesty Ranch Doritos and automatically go-to your healthy, whole food alternative. Build on this goal when you feel ready. Unless you’ve been told by your health care professional that you need to make big changes right now, you have the time to make your transformation process more bearable and as a result, more likely to endure.

3. Get Support

To state the obvious, change is hard. It’s even harder to make these changes alone. To stand a better chance of succeeding, surround yourself by similarly minded and supportive people. If you’re looking for a FitFam to support you, feel free to join our BodyRock Insiders group on Facebook. These are the people who put up and show up everyday, admitting to their challenges and helping one another rise above them. You may not need help at first, but eventually you will, and if you have a support system already in place, you can get the assistance you need right away.

4. Invest in Your Change

It’s not enough to say you want to make changes. It helps to have tangible proof that you’ve made this commitment. Again, you don’t have to go big. Let’s look back at that fitness example again and consider this: building yourself a total home gym to support your fitness goals could be overwhelming, especially if you fall of the fitness wagon a few times before you get settled in for good (and this is a natural part of the process that does NOT mean you’ve failed!). Looking at the home gym when you’re in a slump can just make you feel worse about yourself. Instead, invest in just a few basic pieces to start: a good quality yoga matt, dumbbells, a resistance band and a stability ball. These items won’t break the bank (and a couple are under $25), so you won’t feel burdened by any setbacks, but you WILL feel and see motivated to keep going.

5. Accept Failure

OK, this may sound defeatist, but rest assured, it’s just realistic: failure will happen. It may not happen in the first days or weeks, but eventually, you will slip up and wonder why you even bothered trying to make changes in the first place. As we’ve mentioned before, this is where most new year’s resolutions fail: when the going gets tough. By sticking to the guidelines we’ve set out, this whole resolution process will be easier, but it will not be perfect. If you miss a workout or power back a few Jolt colas one day in a fit of stress and exhaustion, shake it off. Move on. A healthy life is founded on balance, and that means sometimes you’re going to make not-so great decisions. Learn from them: get to bed earlier so you don’t sleep through your AM workout and crash mid-day. Also, accept that even if you try to do everything right and for the most part do, you will still have shit days anyway. They don’t define you, and with time, grit and determination, they will be in the minority.

You got this! If you want to start off the new year strong, check out our New Year New You Sale. Running now until January 7, 2019, now is your chance to score up to 30% off our best-selling premade fitness bundles using promo code NEWYEAR.

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published