How to create New Year’s Resolutions that actually stick

All this resolution talk over here!

Happy 2019, friends. I always look forward to a bright, shiny new year and a chance to start over with a clean slate. There’s something magical about cracking open a new planner and filling it with ideas, events and goals for the upcoming year. I know many of us are making resolutions and action plans for 2019, so I thought I’d chat a little bit about some tips for making these goals as effective and attainable as possible.

In our NASM training, we learned a lot about client motivation and goal-setting techniques. The main takeaway is to make sure your goals are SMART (<— happens to be a handy acronym).

S = Specific

M = Measurable 

A = Attainable

R = Realistic 

T = Timely

Tips for creating and accomplishing this year's 2019 new years resolutions

The first bullet is that you want your goals be as specific as possible. Instead of saying, “I’ll get a promotion at work”  you’ll say something like, “I’l be promoted to Executive Director by spring 2019.” (Just using Beautycounter lingo as an example.) By making these goals as specific as possible, it’s easy to keep them in mind and create action steps each day to accomplish your goals.

You’ll also want your goals to be measurable. Pick a goal that you can actually measure or assess. Instead of telling yourself you’ll run faster, set a pace for your ideal mile time. Instead of saying you’ll have more date nights with your husband, plan for x amount per month. This way, you’ll know if you’re hitting your goals! Avoid vague words when you’re setting goals.

I think the most important one from the list is to make sure your goals are actually attainable. Should they scare you a little and fill you with excitement? TOTALLY. But in your heart, you should know that you can actually make it happen. If you don’t set goals that are attainable, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. This kind of goes with the next point that they should be realistic. When you accomplish your goals, it motivates you keep working hard. If you’re setting yourself up for failure with unattainable, unrealistic expectations, you’re going to feel badly when it doesn’t happen. Goals should make you feel happy and excited, not bad about yourself.

The next one is to make sure they’re timely. Does it make sense for you right now? For myself, it would make zero sense for me to decide to run a marathon. I wouldn’t be able to get in long runs on a regular basis and let’s be real, I hate the morning. Pick goals that make sense for where you are in life right now. 

Some tips for resolutions and goals in general:

– Create a vision board. I’m a huge believer in the power of vision boards. Yes, Pinterest is awesome for creating boards, but I really prefer the old-school magazine cut-outs glued onto a piece of paper. Hang it somewhere you can see it (I like the closet because I see it every day but am not subjecting guests to my lack of crafting skills), and this way you’ll stay mindful of your goals. When you have visual reminders of what you’d like to accomplish, you’re much more likely to take steps each day to make it happen. 

W bets

(with Bets!)

– Enlist a buddy. Find a buddy who’s going after the same goals and support each other! I’m so thankful that I have blog buddies, Beautycounter friends, and fitness coworkers I can talk to about my failures, successes, and action steps. 

– Model others’ success. I’m not saying to go full-on copycat mode, but if someone did something you want to accomplish, find out how they did it. Follow the same steps. Usually an accomplishment isn’t a crazy rocket science equation. It’s following specific actions and showing up consistently. 

– Treat yourself. Create a list of small rewards for yourself when you hit milestones along the way. Run a faster master? Get a new running tank or fitness tracker. Completed your barre challenge at your studio? Pick up some new Toesox or leggings. Worked out consistently all month? Book a facial or massage! Find out which treats will motivate you and plan out a schedule.

Best massage

(A massage always does the trick for me.)

– Read! There are SO MANY inspirational and developmental books out there to support your goals. One of my current favorites is Crushing It! I’d love to hear if you have any favorite personal development books.

Happy 2019! I can’t wait to see what this year brings, and am so excited to hear about everything you accomplish.



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  1. Cindy on January 2, 2019 at 11:33 am

    Thank you for sharing this, Gina! I am all about the S.M.A.R.T method for goal setting. I also like to remind my students to focus on non-scale goals, like being able to wear a pair of jeans that were once too small or being able to go out and run around the yard with their kids or grandkids again. It is all about small victories!

  2. Lauren on January 2, 2019 at 12:05 pm

    I love love LOVE this post! I’m totally adding it to my Friday Favorites!

  3. Deanna on January 2, 2019 at 2:03 pm

    I was trying to remember the acronym the other day and it’s just wouldn’t come to me. The other thing that helps me with goals is being selective who I tell what about. Not everyone needs to know about every goal, and some goals are just for me (until I achieve them, then I’ll tell anyone who will listen)

    • Fitnessista on January 3, 2019 at 1:12 am

      i totally agree! i like to share some goals after i’ve already accomplished them 🙂

  4. Julie on January 2, 2019 at 10:50 pm

    Great post!

    • Fitnessista on January 3, 2019 at 1:11 am

      thank you!

  5. Daniella Passwaters on January 3, 2019 at 10:17 am

    Love this post! Couldn’t agree more with setting attainable goals and being consistent in attaining them. It is so easy to get caught up with life and lose sight of the goals we set out to attain for the year. I really like your emphasis on an actual old-school vision board I think that really helps to not let us get sidetracked when life gets hectic.

  6. Angelina Brown on January 10, 2019 at 11:36 am

    Great article there! I agree with the fact that resolutions should be made realistically. Starting slow is always the key; especially for fitness goals. Doing something fun can be a big motivator like for instance Salsa classes with your partner or swimming lessons with kids. People look forward to such stuff and they are great de-stressors too.

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