New Year New Me; Sustainable Goal Setting

Co-written By: Alyssa Costantino

Whether you’re focused on learning new skills, developing healthy habits, personal advancements, or living a balanced lifestyle, New Year’s Resolutions can be a powerful tool to inspire motivation and take strides towards goals. However, the success of this often relies on setting realistic and achievable goals, creating specific plans, and maintaining consistency and determination throughout the year.

How can you set yourself up for success with your new year resolutions?

  1. Set a SMART goal

Smart goals are a great acronym to follow to give your goals structure and specificity.

S: Specific

  • Pick one specific goal to focus on

M: Measurable

  • How can you measure your progress?

A: Attainable

  • Do you have the tools and resources in place to achieve this goal?

R: Realistic

  • Start your goals small! Is it likely you will accomplish this? It is better to set a small goal and surpass your standards than feel like your goal is unattainable.

T: Timely

  • How often will you measure your progress?
  1. Create a plan
    • Set your goal or health behavior to fit your schedule!
      • How can you fit the goal to your life to make the healthy choice the easiest one?
    • Get a notebook or something to keep track of your goals and progress.
    • Set reminders to check in and reassess your goal based on your time frame. 
  1. Prepare for barriers
    • Often, barriers are the main reasons that goals can quickly become unsustainable.
    • Common barriers include…
      • Time
      • Stress
      • Other responsibilities
      • Travel/schedule changes
      • Limited motivation
      • Finances
    • These barriers will arise! If you create a plan for how you will prepare for them in advance, you are much more likely to stick with your goal for longer.
  1. Set intrinsic factors of motivation
    • Research shows that intrinsic factors of motivation are the most likely to contribute towards sustainable behavior change. These include why health behavior is important to you individually, rather than external and societal expectations.
    • Consistently remind yourself of why you started! Write your goals down and place them in a spot you can easily see them
    • Include positive affirmations and celebrate the small wins!
  2. Create a support system
    • Notify others of your change! If possible, find other people to partner with in developing a healthy behavior change with you!
    • Work with a Registered Dietitian! We help people build healthy habits and reach their goals all year long!
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