Guest Post from Jo Middleton: Make SMART resolutions in 2012

Thanks to Jo Middleton for this fab, funny guest post. Jo can be found over at

Yes, it’s that time of the year again, the time when you stare down at your rapidly rising muffin top and decide that now really is the time to lose weight and get fit. In a wave of enthusiasm, you spend the first week of January eating nothing but rice cakes and raw vegetables, and running up and down stairs, and then you hit the wall, and decide that actually a cup of tea and a piece of leftover Christmas cake is what you really need.So this year I reckon we need a change, we need to go easy on ourselves, rather than setting unrealistic goals and then feeling like failures. In business, much is made of the idea of SMART targets – goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely – so how about this year making yourself some SMART resolutions?


Here are some ideas to get you started…


Specific – Rather than saying you give up all chocolate, knowing you’re bound to cave at certain times of the month (or day), why not be a bit easier on yourself and just give up certain types of chocolate? Like Double Deckers?

Double Decker                                                                         Photo credit: Like_the_grand_canyon


Measurable – Now for this one you could say you’ll aim to lose 10 pounds, and that you’ll be able to measure this easily with scales. And this would be true. However, I quite fancy the idea of applying this one to something more positive. How about deciding to want to save up some money for a new pair of shoes, and rather than putting your pennies in a piggy bank, lining them up end to end? ‘I will save up one metre of pound coins’ sounds like much more fun doesn’t it?


Attainable – as much as I like to dream it’s possible, I’m never going to have the body of Kylie Minogue. No matter how many sit ups I do, it just ain’t gonna happen. That’s fine though, I’m coming to terms with that. Slowly. Instead, I know I need to set myself realistic goals that I can actually achieve. Like ‘make sure I take the stairs rather than the lift if it’s actually only one floor up’. I reckon I can manage that.


Relevant – This one doesn’t translate from work to home quite so easily, but it’s doable. Basically, just don’t make stupid resolutions with no relevance to your life. Don’t have a dog? Then don’t resolve to walk the dog more. Easy.


Timely – This is an important one, but something we often forget about when making grand resolutions like ‘get fit’ or ‘get thin’. Having a time frame is really important for giving you focus, and for ensuring your resolution doesn’t get taken over by day-to-day life. For example, ‘in six months time I will have be a millionaire’ is much more effective than ‘one day I’ll be rich’. It possibly doesn’t score so highly under ‘attainable’ though.


So there you go, plenty of food for thought there I hope! Now, I’m off to the gym to do 27 sit ups in three and a half minutes, without even a Double Decker for sustenance…


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