Choose SMART Goals over Resolutions!
For starters…. I don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions. I haven’t for a while. It’s fine to set goals at the start of every year, but broadcasting big absolutes like you’re going to swear something off starting January 1 or lose a ton of weight or eat healthier or start exercising as soon as the New Year comes along is a terrible idea. That mentality sets you up to fail for the whole rest of the year as soon as you slip up a time or two. Instead, I believe in goals. SMART goals specifically.
***FYI This is a very personal post! I want this blog to be about my lifestyle/ life journey, as well as sharing tips about writing (since I am a writer at heart) so I am shifting gears from the writer in me and am talking about my very personal goals and the factors that I am going to attribute to and the steps I am going to take for this year’s goals.
What are SMART Goals?
SMART Goals are just like other goals, but they become SMART when you put the extra work to think it out, plan it and set very specific goals within the goals that you want to achieve. Making a goal a SMART Goal means that you have taken your Big Picture Goal and made Little Picture Goals that will lead you to making your dreams come true. As examples, below are my very personal SMART Goals for 2021 that I even started before 2021!
What does SMART Stand For?
Specific Measurable Achievable Realistic and Timebound
Clearly decide what it is that you want your goal to be. Do you want to lose weight? Exercise more? Write more? Improve your budgeting skills? Be as clear as possible when you choose this goal!
Decide how you want to quantify this goal/improvement? Pounds? Do you want to save $X money or stop eating out? Do you want to improve your blog/website traffic by a number of followers or a percentage?
Can you really do it? Of course you can do it, but are you planning too big too fast? Should you start with a smaller goal so that you don’t set yourself up for feeling like you haven’t accomplished anything?
Can you do this specific goal? Yes, you can do this goal but can you do this goal in a specific time frame? This is slightly repeating what I said above, but if you want to achieve your goals, pick the baby steps that will lead you to achieving your goal.
T- Time Bound
How long are you giving yourself to achieve this goal? Is it realistic to finish this goal in 2 months or is 6 months – is 12 months more reasonable?
My SMART Goals for 2021
- Lose weight
- get to 125 lbs by February
- walk more: 5,000 steps a day minimum
- improve diet
- Reduce Migraines (diet)
- Include Travel in Lifestyle
How am I Accomplishing My SMART Goals?
Improving My Diet
First, my mom and I decided to start our diet on December 18, 2020. I am mostly following her rules, most are pretty basic (more veggies and fruits, water, and a very low amount of carbs and sugar that aren’t from produce (75 g/day)). The biggest challenges for me have been making time for walking/exercise on days I work, and weighing myself every morning…Sometimes weighing myself every morning is discouraging. Our goal is to lose 2 lbs each week (10 weeks =20 lbs)….The last time I was weighed at the neurologist, the scale showed that I was 140…possibly 145 because they never tell you to drop your bulky winter coat or winter boots or even set your purse aside. So let’s say I started this journey out at 140 lbs. That makes me at least 5 lbs overweight – according to the BMI- because I am also 5′ 2″. My mom and I have a goal to lose 10 lbs by February. And afterwards, she will treat us to a birthday massage (our birthdays are 1 day a part!).
I would like to reach 125…especially so that I can feel good in a swimsuit for Hawaii in March!!! 🐢🤿👙🏖🌺
Feb. 18, 2021: I reached my goal! Read about it in my blog post My Health and Fitbit Journey
Reducing My Migraines
My migraines are epilepsy and hormonal driven, and sometimes the hormones drive the epilepsy …(so great being a lady isn’t it?)… so I have decided on being very strict about a low carb (almost Keto) diet. My doctor told me that I needed to increase my protein and healthy fats, decrease carbs and of course, remember to drink water. Since I have also been experiencing ovarian cysts these last couple years, I have decided to switch from tampons/pads. I am in-love with my Saalt Cup (see why at the bottom!) ❤️❤️❤️ I hope to balance my pH, and hopefully doing that can contribute to balancing hormones- which I would like to think will help reduce migraines/headaches. 🤞🏻🤞🏻 And maybe even my acne will clear up a bit more if I balance my pH- my Burt’s Bees products have been helping with too!
My mom also got me a Versa Lite FitBit for Christmas- I am over the moon about this gadget! I guess I am a visual learner, because I desperately needed to see the percentage and amount of carbs that I was consuming during the day. I’ve been religiously adding my water intake and counting calories so that by the end of the day, I can see how many carbs I have consumed. Lowering my carb intake to less than 100 g (75 g preferably) has had a significant impact on the amount of migraines I have in a week! This week on Jan 5, I really wanted bread with my beef stew, which meant that I nearly doubled my usual carb intake (since starting the diet) and within 30 minutes, I had a headache! WOW! Learned my lesson there.
Including Travel in Our Lifestyle ✈️
First I was in school for 5 years and our schedules + budget were greatly limited and we were unable to really travel. Then, Kyler got a job when we first moved back to Kalispell that also made it greatly difficult to travel and take time off. But he’s starting school on the 19th this month, so his work schedule is getting reduce and will be more flexible, plus there will be designated times throughout the year where I can take “executive order” and lovingly tell him “we’re going somewhere mister!” 😉
While I do not have expert knowledge about touring the country or the world, we will have a few things to take advantage of: 1) my grandparents live in Hawaii, so we can visit them at least once a year. 2) we chose to apply to a Alaska Airlines credit card so that we can earn miles, and earn the 40,000 miles Bonus for spending $2,000 in the first 90 days of activating our card 3) Used the card to pay his tuition so that we could get that 40,000 mile Bonus. We hope to use the miles to offset the cost of tickets to Hawaii. My grandparents live there, so basically all accommodations are taken care of. THE PLAN is to use miles and the Free Ticket per Membership anniversary to take a quick vacation at least once a year. Other places on our wishlist include DC (for the museums!), a Western Caribbean cruise and Mexico…though some of those items are in the far future…
Since Kyler is starting school, his work hours are decreasing and we are making certain sacrifices such as going down to a single car and coordinating our schedules on a daily or weekly basis. Combining lease, insurance, gas and the annual registration fee, we will be saving approx. $300/month from not having my Yaris iA (I’ll miss it but it’ll worth it).
And there you have it! My very personal SMART Goals for 2021 …. Any suggestions? What are your New Year goals?