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Start the Year SMARTer!

Every year, over 40% of people set new year’s resolutions. Typically these resolutions revolve around improving our health and finances, yet a very small number of people achieve their resolutions. Why is that? 

The Unattainable

Most resolutions that we make are unrealistic which then sets us up for failure. Once we fail at attaining a goal, we doubt our competence, which then lowers our self-worth. Once we feel bad about ourselves, we are unlikely to set other goals.

So how do we set ourselves up for success in 2024? S.M.A.R.T resolutions!

SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. These resolutions provide direction, motivation and a clear focus. When we set SMART resolutions we are significantly more likely to achieve them. Let’s dive into a common New Year’s Resolution – I want to lose weight – and make it smarter!

Be SpecificHow much weight do you want to lose? What do I need to do to lose weight (change my diet, be more active) and how do I go about doing this? When do I want to lose weight by? Why do I want to lose weight?

Measure itHow do you know if you’re losing weight? Are you using a scale, monitoring your heart rate?

AchievableWhen making a resolution we want to challenge ourselves, but also define it well enough that we will be successful. With the time and resources you have, is this goal achievable?

Time is of the EssenceFor this resolution, set a start date and an end date as it keeps you more accountable. 

When you consider all of the components of SMART you may get:

I want to lose 10 lbs by Dec 1, 2024 so that I feel healthier. I will start January 2. Three times a week I will walk or run, and eat a more balanced diet. I will measure my progress by weighing myself monthly and monitoring my resting heart rate. 

Let’s start the year SMARTer and end it with success!


Becky Morrison is a Nurse Practitioner based out of Calgary who has specialized in mental health for over a decade. She is finally, after years of infertility, a mother of two busy little boys, and doting fur mom of her gentle giant, Stella. She is, and always will be, a strong advocate for mental wellness at all ages.


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