How to Make New Year’s Resolutions that Stick

Brace Yourselves, January is coming.

It’s that time of year where we make New Year’s resolutions in order to hold ourselves accountable to change something we don’t like. #goals

A goal could be financially motivated, or self-help related, but almost always, it has something to do with fitness ambitions. Everyone, and I mean, Everyone, has made a fitness-related goal at some point in their life to start on January 1st. How many of those same goal-makers are there on February 1st? Spring? Summer? #SummerBody

Let’s stop making Fitness Resolutions.

Instead, let’s make Fitness Commitments. You’ll read this everywhere, but let’s not get too crazy with our fitness goals OK? I mean seriously. There is NO reason to set a goal to lose more than 2 lbs a week, or ditch sugar completely, or do a 400 lb deadlift when you’ve never lifted weights before. Here’s why:

We’re going to be S.M.A.R.T about our goals!

Jumping into 2018 like…

Yup, thats LTD mascot, Haley showing off her skills in the Future WOD Slayer Baseball Tee.

This is not another article that is going to tell you what not to eat or why you can’t complete the Spartan Ultra race (more on this later). I’m not in the business of telling people they can’t do something. But I am sharing this in hopes that it will help at least one of you in making fitness goals!

The acronym stands for: 

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Timely

This should be applied to every single goal you make, especially when it comes to Fitness Goals.

You’ve heard it used before, probably in the leadership class your job sent you too. Your eyes likely glazed over and you were left wondering how to get up and use the restroom without everyone noticing.

Either way, here it is again.

The meaning of the Specific part of the mnemonic acronym, when applied to a Fitness Goal, is BE SPECIFIC. Don’t say, “oh I’m gonna lose those last 10 lbs of baby weight in the next month”… ok.


Instead try, “I will go to the gym 3 days a week, track my caloric intake and aim for a deficit, with the goal to burn at least 3,500 calories or more in the week. My goal will be to lose the weight in 10 weeks”.

You have to burn 3,500 kcal to lose a pound. So you would have to burn 35,000 kcal to hit your 10 lb weight loss goal. Do you know how you will accomplish that? This is why you have to be Specific with your goal making to accomplish the bigger goal.

This goal is also Measureable, which just means that you will be able to track it using real life applications, such as kcal intake and minutes of exercise. When it comes to fitness goals, you can measure in kcals consumed and/or burned, pounds lost, kilos lifted, inches lost, you name it!

Of course, this brings us to the next component: is your goal Achieveable?

Like, can you really set a goal to run a marathon in a month, when you haven’t been training with running? Maybe you’re a wizard, and you can, but for the rest of us Muggles, it takes a lot more time to train our bodies to run that grueling distance.

Which leads into the next subject: making Realistic goals.

Giving up Donuts completely is not realistic, or sustainable, I don’t recommend it 😂 

Old school “Circle of Life” tank, still a favorite!

Our final part of the acronym is Timely. Do you actually have time for the goal your setting? No? Then MAKE time.

If it’s important to you, you will make time. We all find ourselves in a slump every now and then, making excuses of why we cannot leave our house for an hour, escape the kiddos, and sweat out some stress.

I mean, when you put it like that…

Another aspect to look at is, is your goal Timely in that you are giving yourself enough time to complete the task?

‘Cause let me tell you from experience, having a goal to lose 30 pounds in 6 weeks, isn’t really Timely (nor does it fall in line with any of the S.M.A.R.T mantras), as in, it’s not enough time for your body to lost the weight.

On that note, you shouldn’t trust any “program” that brags that you can. It’s too fast and not sustainable for your body.

You’ll probably be eating Tilapia, broccoli, and brown rice 4 times a day.


And, how are you supposed to have a good relationship with food (and your body) if you’re teaching it to be deprived of certain foods.

But for real. When picking a goal, or several, this New Year, try applying the S.M.A.R.T ideas to each goal.

Is your 2018 goal to lift heavier?

I was looking through some ancient posts of mine, and I came across this little gem:

My goals are to do a full handstand, an unassisted pull-up (or 2 or 3), and run a half marathon in October 2013. These are long term, achievable and attainable goals for ME. If you know me well enough, you know that I won’t stop until I’ve reached these goals.”

It’s so awesome to think about now, but even back then, I was making S.M.A.R.T goals for myself. BUT the crazy part, I didn’t even do the handstand or unassisted pull-up until 2016. See why the Timely part is important?

My handstand was 4 years in the making!

Let me leave you with this piece: join me in making a fitness commitment, NOT a resolution.

The definition of resolution is: the action of solving a problem, dispute, or contentious matter.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to just solve a problem, I want to make changes that will last a lifetime.

So. Here are mine. Put on the World Wide Web so I can keep myself accountable.

My fitness commitments for 2018 are:

  • To get a muscle up (ring or bar)
  • To increase my Snatch (Olympic Lift) Personal Record by at least 30#
  • To complete the Spartan Ultra in August

I kept the number of commitments low this upcoming year, because there is a pretty big one on that list that will take up a majority of my training time! Training starts January 1st (go figure) and I will be blogging about my training and documenting my journey through this adventure! Be sure to follow the blog if you want to stay updated on my pain. 

What are your 2018 Fitness Commitments? Drop them in the comments below!

Malia is the owner, and mamapreneur, of Lifting the Dream. When she’s not lifting heavy weights, she’s doing some fun shit outdoors with her family or taste testing local ciders. She is a Cali girl born and raised, with salt water in her veins and sunshine in her heart. She and her family now reside near Denver, Colorado, soaking up the 300+ days of sunshine and breathtaking (literally, altitude) views.

Bee Tee Dubs (BTW). 


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s