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How to be SMART about setting your New Year's Resolution

2019 is only just around the corner which means that it’s time to set your new year resolutions! Don’t get trapped with resolutions like ‘get fit’ or ‘lose weight’, instead follow the below steps to come up with SMART goals.

You might’ve heard about the SMART way of setting goals before but decided it was a bit too complicated or boring and decided you are better off taking this process on by yourself. This is probably why 99% of new year’s resolutions don’t even make it till February.

Unfortunately, this also means that we see ourselves as failures come the second month of the year, really not a great start to the year….

So let’s look into this SMART goal setting and make sure you have reason to celebrate in 2019!

S for Specific

Make sure your goal is specific for the simple reason that you know when it’s time to celebrate for reaching your goal. What does fit mean? When will you be happy with your fitness and know that you have reached this goal? Fit does not have a specific meaning, it means something different to each person and it will probably mean something different to you in 6 months time. Instead, change fit to being able to swim.

I would like to improve my swimming in 2019, so my goal is to:

Being able to swim faster...

M for Measurable

We now know what activity your focusing on and to be able to know when you’ve reached this goal you need to know what you’re working towards. Being able to swim is cool, but how far without stopping or what distance in a certain time will give you reason to celebrate. All we’re doing here is adding a quantifiable measure to your goal.

To make my goal measurable I have added a distance and a time I would like to complete this in:

Being able to swim 50m under 27 seconds….

A for Achievable

Setting a goal that slightly scared you and makes you nervous is great and is needed to get you into action but setting a goal that is just simply unachievable will make you hate it very quickly and result in the opposite effect. If you are struggling to swim 1 lap without stopping right now, there is no way in the world you will set a new World Record by the end of 2019.

Also consider if you have the resources available to you to achieve this goal. Is there a swim coach who can help you, or a group of friends to keep you going.

To swim 50m under 27 means I have to improve by over 5 seconds, which is a lot for 50m and the time I have available to train. So I have changed my goal to:

Being able to swim 50m under 31 seconds by training 4 times per week of which 2 with a coach…

R for Relevant

Is swimming something that will keep you going because you enjoy doing it? If you absolutely hate water than this is probably not a relevant goal for you. Find something that you know you will enjoy doing for a period of time or you know will be good for you in the long run. If you are scared of water right now, but your kids love playing in the pool, you know it will be very beneficial and enjoyable for you to be able to swim and feel comfortable in the water.

I know that I love longer distances better than sprinting, so I have adjusted my goal to:

Being able to swim 400m under 5 minutes by training 4 times per week of which 2 with a coach…

T for Timely

Simply said, by when would you like to achieve this goal. Without setting a time limit on your goal you will not be motivated to start work straight away, you will push it off thinking I will get to that when I have more time. Your goal might be to compete in a race that is on a specific date which makes this step easy or you can think about what a reasonable timeframe is to achieve your goal keeping in mind the available resources and time you have.

I really want to improve my 400m by the time the Surf Life Saving Season starts which is June, so I have adjusted my goal to:

Being able to swim 400m under 5 minutes by 1 June 2019 by training 4 times per week of which 2 with a coach.

Now you just have to make sure you write down your goal somewhere you will see it every day, like the fridge door, underneath your laptop keyboard, next to your bed… get creative! Reminding yourself of your goal will keep you going and writing it somewhere others can see it will keep you accountable. I guess I better get moving!

If you have any questions about setting your new year’s resolution, please feel free to contact me via the contact form.


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