This post is sponsored by Summer’s Eve®. I’ve had a lot of fun getting to know the brand and its mission to make freshness easier, and to give us the confidence to do all of the active stuff we love to do. I hope you check them out!
Let me tell you what I love and don’t love about New Year’s Resolutions.
- It’s a great motivation for making healthy lifestyle changes: the start of a new year, the start of a new you.
- There is lots of extra support and community around, since nearly everyone makes a resolution!
- Anything that inspires someone to get healthier, happier, more fit and focus on wellness is OK in my book.
- It allows people to make poor choices leading up to a date on the calendar — essentially, getting one last hurrah.
- Goals set this time of year are often too broad and not sustainable, and therefore lead to failure (or the feeling of being a failure).
- Without a solid plan in place, excitement can quickly wear off.
Whether it’s December 31 or any time during the year, I truly feel that the key to success is being S.M.A.R.T.
Let’s break it down:
Instead of “start runnning,” the SMART goal might be “run 5 miles.”
Running 5 miles is specific and measurable (it’s a distance that doesn’t vary) but to step it up even more, we might instead make the goal “run 5 miles at a 12:00-mile pace or faster.”
You want to set goals that challenge you, but that aren’t impossible (and remember: once you reach one goal, you can move to the next one, so I encourage you to think about this in small steps, all leading up to a big change). So, is 5 miles at 12:00 achievable? Try running or fast-walking a quarter of a mile to start. Did you do it in 3:00? Or close to it? If so, your goal seems achievable. If not, perhaps you need to adjust your goal to be for a shorter distance, a slower pace or give yourself more time to complete it.
Is this a goal that is important to you? Is it connected to your big picture goals? If your longterm goal is to run your first half marathon, running 5 miles at a 12:00 pace is relevant. So the new goal might be “run 5 miles at a 12:00-mile pace or faster so that I can get closer to my goal of running my first half marathon.”
On the flip side, if your longterm goal is to lose weight, running may help you reach that, but setting a SMART running goal is not the best way to go from A to B.
Open-ended goals just don’t set you up for success. You need to have some accountability, or some deadline to work toward. So, options for this particular example might be: “Run 5 miles at a 12:00-mile pace or faster by March 30 so that I can get closer to my goal of running my first half marathon.”
The beauty of the S.M.A.R.T. goal system is that it works on just about everything. For example:
- Business: “I will sell three copies of my ebook by the end of January.”
- Relationships: “I will have dinner with my best friends once a month so that we can catch up — it really makes me feel happier and more balanced!”
- Household: “I will declutter the garage by Superbowl Sunday and give away anything that we no longer need so that I can have more space for a party we’ll have the day of the big game.”
If you’re having trouble coming up with a goal, why not focus on just improving your wellness? There are so many things that you can start doing right now — today! — that will help you go into the new year feeling like a rockstar, and they can use S.M.A.R.T. systems as well. Borrow some of these if you need inspiration:
- Drink 2-3 glasses of lemon water each week — one a day if you can! — to help with digestion and refresh your skin.
- Make your shower routine more luxurious and refreshing by putting on some music and choosing products that really do make you feel and smell great. One of the reasons I love using Summer’s Eve cleansing washes is that they help maintain a natural pH and leave me feeling super fresh. In the morning, I use the Simply Sensitive or Aloe Love and if I shower at the end of the day, the lavender Night-time wash is super calming and helps me get right to sleep.
- Speaking of sleep, I know it’s hard to get 7-9 hours a night, but set an alarm at night to remind you to turn off devices and get in pajamas (I have a really soothing alarm tone that I use around 10pm so I don’t work too late).
Back to running for a moment…I’m biased, because it has been such a crucial part of my pursuit of balance (I’m not there yet and may never be but I’m always working on it). My own 2017 goals include training for my first post-second-baby half marathon, my first Olympic distance triathlon in years, setting a new 5K personal record and also, running a mile at a sub-7:30 pace (I’ll be coaching myself!).
If you need some inspiration, I have a Pinterest board packed with treadmill workouts here.
And remember: when you run, you sweat. EVERYWHERE. Make sure you follow my lead and tuck some Summer’s Eve® cleansing cloths in your gym bag!