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January 19, 2020

Say No to New Years Resolutions

by Marc Matthews-Indovino

And YES to SMART Goals…..

As we enter 2020 and a brand-new decade, many of us will set New Year’s resolutions which are according to the oxford dictionary is ‘a firm decision to do or not to do something’. According to, three of the top five most popular New Year’s resolutions have to do with diet and exercise. We all make them my clients, my friends, and my family year after year. Resolutions such as “I want to lose weight”, “I want to eat less”, “I will exercise more”, etc. Sound like your resolutions?

It is astounding the percentage of people who make these resolutions that have failed before February 1st and then are waiting twelve months only to make the exact same resolutions.

Are you one of these people?

Somehow year after year, you set new year’s resolutions, but as soon as you get one setback you have given up and settled back into your old habits.

Why does this happen?

There are many reasons why we continue failing at the resolutions we set every new year. Here are some reasons why you may be failing your New Years resolutions:

First thing to do is change the word resolutions to goals. Remember you do not just want to decided to do something you also want to take action on that decision.

  • The date the resolution you make would typically start on the worst time of year, January 1st. Instead of making your resolutions to start January 1st, think about the best possible time that you can begin your goal that you can stick to for at least 21 days. According to Dr Maxwell Maltz, a plastic surgeon in the 1950s, published his findings that it takes 21 days to form a habit. If you have anything going on between January 1st and January 21st that would hinder your New year’s resolution, then change your start date.
  • You lack direction, knowledge, motivation, and determination to achieve the resolution.
  • Your resolution is unachievable. Many people overestimate just how hard it can be to achieve a goal like, losing weight or changing your eating habits. If you have made the same resolution year after year, then it is time to stop and think about why you are not achieving the goal. Perhaps what you need is some professional help.
  • Your decision to lose some weight, join a gym, eat better etc., is just that a decision. You must turn your decision into a smart goal. A smart goal is a great way to ensure you have a proper plan in place if you want any chance at being successful able to stick to and achieve your resolution.

Smart goal:

Something can you stick to. You need to ensure that you can stick to your goal for at least one year or until you achieve it.

Measurable– How do you know you are achieving this goal? A good way to measure a weight loss goal, for example is the size of your clothing, scales, and measurements.

Achievable– How are you going to achieve this goal? What support system do you have around you to achieve the goal? Have you set your expectations too high? Where will you go and who will you see to help achieve the goal?

Realistic– Is your goal a realistic goal, or is it just impossible to achieve? Setting a goal to lose 50 kgs in one week is just not realistic. 500 grams per week is more realistic.

Time, does your goal have a deadline when you achieve this by? A goal without a timeline is just a dream.

To ensure you are successful, your smart goal must be Specific.

Your goal must be written down and be very specific. For example- If your goal is to lose weight, your goal would be written something like this-

I want to lose 10 kgs of body fat from my tummy, hips and thighs. I will lose this weight by working out at the gym for 5 days per week with a mix of fitness and weight training. I will eliminate all junk food from my diet and only eat natural healthy foods. To help with my exercise and nutrition I will enlist the help of professionals and I will share my goal with my close family and friends. I will measure my goal by my pants size every week. My plan is to lose 500 grams per week and I will take 20 weeks to achieve my goal. Today is the 19th of January 2020, I will have lost 10kgs of body fat from my tummy, hips and thighs by the 7th of June 2020.

When I was in my twenties, I used to make New year’s resolutions every New Year’s Eve, and like many other people, I failed and returned to my old habits somewhere between February and Easter. When I turned thirty, I made a New Year’s resolution not to make any more resolutions, but to instead make smart goals whenever I felt the need. I decided that I didn’t need a New Year to set goals, and neither do you.

Personal development is about setting and achieving goals to become better. Therefore you need to say no to resolutions and yes to smart goals. Set these goals whenever you feel the need to achieve something. Do not be governed by a New Year and always remember you must make a plan because…….

Be your best Emotionally, Physically and Mentally.

Marc Matthews-Indovino

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