So, its getting to be that time of year…and I’ll go ahead and be the first to ask: Whats your New Year’s resolution?  Mine is to floss more and get more serious about resistance training.  Sounds good right?   Yours probably sounds pretty similar right?

Well, you and I are not very good at making resolutions then.

There is a reason why most people don’t stick to their resolutions.  We tend to make broad, non-specific goals.  Flossing and resistance training might sound specific on the surface, but really what qualifies flossing more?  I don’t floss at all currently, so technically flossing just once a week counts as more.  There. Done.  But then whats the point?  The same goes for resistance training.  What does it mean to take it more seriously?  I’ll go to the gym but IN NO WAY will I smile about it- must be serious.

There is a specific formula that can help you make and achieve your goals.  the SMART formula:

  • Specificity: What exactly is your goal?  Mine, for example is to floss and to resistance train.
  • Measurability: How can you measure your goal?  You need to be able to quantify your progress.  I can quantify flossing by number of times per day per week.  I can quantify resistance training several ways, but I will most likely focus on strength gains based on my 1RM in a few core exercises.
  • Achievable: Is this a feasible goal, and do we have control over all of the variables?  Flossing, yes.  It is entirely under my control whether I floss or not.  For resistance training, and achievable example would be to perform an hour of resistance training twice a week- this fits with my school, work, internship, and marathon training schedule (busy busy!).  Whats not achievable?  GYM all day every day.  Don’t do that to yourself.  Set up something you know you can do.
  • Relevant:  How is this related to you daily life and how will it be recorded?  For me flossing and resistance training will improve my overall health, and reduce my chances of developing heart disease and osteoporosis later in life.
  • Time-Bound:  How long until you re-evaluate?  Ok flossing isn’t a good example for this, because that should be indefinite.  But for resistance training, I can say until my marathon in May, then I will re-evaluate and make changes based on my gains.

So there it is, based on this formula, my New Year’s resolutions will be to 1) Floss at least once every day until the end of time because its good for my teeth and my health, and 2) Resistance train for 1 hour two days a week until May 31 because it will help my running and improve my bone density and keep my blood pressure and metabolism in check.

If you want to lose weight, or eat healthier, you can follow the same formula.  Start out with something basic for your new years resolution, (like swapping sodas for water, or walking 5 days a week for 20 minutes), and after 3 months, re-evaluate.  Bump up that walking to 30 minutes, or start running, or even join a gym.  A personal trainer’s job is to come up with goals for you and design a plan to help you achieve them.  Just make sure you keep your goals SMART!

Workout today: Today was supposed to be my long run day, but I’m still visiting the parents for the holidays and my mother had other plans for me.  So I swapped out my Tuesday workout and did 40 minutes with 6 1-minute pickups, and I’ll probably get to my long-run Monday or Tuesday, which will be a slow 10 miles.  I followed it up with my normal post-run core routine.



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