There are many reasons why it’s hard to keep a New Year’s resolution and why over fifty percent of them fail. Many of us make goals that are too vague, too difficult, or not true to ourselves. You resolve to cook more at home, but you don’t plan how many nights a week you’ll do it or when you’ll go grocery shopping. You resolve to exercise every day, but after the first few weeks, you realize that it isn’t realistic, so you give up altogether. Or your resolution is a response to societal pressure or self-loathing. If your heart isn’t in it, you won’t achieve it.
Experts on building good habits suggest using a system called SMART, which stands for:
Your resolution should be specific and measurable. For example, if you want to lose weight, just saying, “I want to lose weight” is too vague, and it’s impossible to measure. Instead, resolve to lose a specific amount of weight and to weigh yourself on a regular schedule.