Wellness Club — Setting SMART Goals for your New Year’s Resolutions

Wellness Club — Setting SMART Goals for your New Year’s Resolutions
Abingdon, VA. - Tuesday, Dec 1, 2020.

Written by: Elizabeth Hall, MS, RDN, LDN, Food City Registered Dietitian

Did you know that more than half of resolutions fail? The problem might not be you…it might be your resolution! 

First, make sure your resolution is based on your own goals, not someone else’s. Second, don’t be too vague. Saying, “I want to eat healthier this year,” is too wide open for interpretation. Being specific helps you know exactly what you need to do to achieve your goal and when you’ve achieved it. Lastly, make a realistic plan to carry out your resolution.

Set yourself up for success by setting SMART goals. SMART is an acronym that stands for “specific,” “measurable,” “achievable,” “relevant,” and “time”-bound.


Let’s start with “specific.” Going back to our previous example, if your overarching goal is to eat healthier, choose something specific to work on to help you achieve that goal. For instance, start by setting a goal to eat at least one serving of vegetables at dinner. This goal is also “measurable” – if you eat one serving of vegetables at dinner, you know that you met your goal. Also, make sure your goal is “achievable.” If you never eat vegetables at dinner, saying you are going to eat one serving every night might not be achievable for you. So instead, set a goal that you will eat one serving of vegetables at dinner on 4 nights out of the week. Similar to achievability, whether or not a goal is “relevant” will depend on what’s important to you. For instance, if you notice your current eating pattern is missing vegetables and you value that vegetables are high in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants, then a goal to eat more vegetables makes sense and is a valuable goal for you. Last but not least, give yourself a “time” frame to complete the goal – typically about 30 days to make it a habit. Once the first goal is incorporated into your lifestyle, choose another one such as adding a serving of fruit to breakfast. A bunch of small changes lead to a big change in the long run and can help you actually keep your resolution this year.