Photo of healthy bowl of food

Setting Realistic Resolutions This New Year

Start by getting S.M.A.R.T. with your goals.

“New year, new me” we proclaim every January. We make promises to eat healthier, exercise more, or finally begin that hobby we’ve been putting off. But statistics show that of the 45 percent of Americans who make New Year’s resolutions, only 8 percent achieve them. It’s time to make some realistic resolutions for 2021 so that you’ll feel empowered when you succeed instead of deflated when intentions fall through.

Start by getting S.M.A.R.T. with your resolutions!

Set goals that are: Specific. Measurable. Achievable. Realistic. Timely.


By setting measurable and timely resolutions, you are more likely to achieve them, which will motivate you to set additional achievable goals. So, for example, instead of saying, “I’m going to get fit this year,” add to your calendar that you will spend one hour at the gym twice per week. At first, you may think two hours of exercise per week is not enough to reach your fitness goals. “That’s too easy!” you may say. But until you meet that first realistic goal, it remains an unmet promise floating around in the land of good intentions, not reality. Being S.M.A.R.T. with your expectations means accomplishing the baby steps that lead to meeting your larger goals. In this case, once you successfully go to the gym twice per week for a consistent period of time, you can gradually increase the frequency or duration of your workout sessions to reach your fitness goals faster. This method can apply to all of your resolutions this year.

Here are a few more S.M.A.R.T. goal swaps to consider:

Instead of  “I’ll watch less TV," try “I’ll set a timer to only watch one hour of TV per night.”

Instead of  “I’ll eat healthier," try  “I’ll add one green vegetable into every dinner.”

Instead of “I’ll save more money," try “I’ll put $50 into emergency savings every month.”

Instead of “I’ll drink less ______," try "I’ll only drink one cup of _____ per day.”

Instead of “I’ll spend more time with my family" try “I’ll plan one family outing each month.”

Instead of “I’ll be more positive," try “I’ll write down one thing I enjoyed today each night.”

Photo credit to Jimmy Dean

Using the S.M.A.R.T. goal technique will also help prevent burnout as you set your resolutions into motion. It’s important to keep your goals realistic and achievable from beginning to end so you don’t get overwhelmed and quit. Remember the gym example? If you increase your workout sessions from twice per week to five times per week all of a sudden, you may find the frequency unsustainable in your lifestyle and give up completely instead of returning to the twice per week schedule. Rather than quitting, take a moment to reevaluate your goal against the S.M.A.R.T. principles and go back to what actually works for you, instead of what you think you should be doing. It’s never too late to get back on track.

Photo credit to Thought Catalog

How Schipper Design team is getting S.M.A.R.T in 2021!

  • Read (and finish) 12 books in 12 months - they don’t have to be long!
  • Draw a picture every day.
  • Get a new pillow, new socks, and underwear, new kitchen towels.
  • Sleep an extra hour each night.
  • Cook dinner at least once per week - reheating frozen food doesn’t count.
  • Start flossing consistently - whenever works for you; morning, noon, or night.
  • Take a 30-minute walk every day - or two 15 minute walks.
  • Drink two more cups of water every day.
  • Call your loved ones at least once per week (parents, siblings, best friends).
  • Schedule all of your yearly check-ups at once - less stress later on!
  • Set an alarm to sanitize your phone weekly.

Now, grab a piece of paper and think about some S.M.A.R.T. goals of your own.  Best of luck this year!

Is one of your New Year’s resolutions to revamp your brand? Schipper is available to help! Email us to set up a free Zoom consultation on your project needs.

How we can help

  • Refreshing your brand system and logo
  • Digitizing collateral into interactive PDFs
  • Creating virtual campaigns via e-blasts, webinars, etc.
  • Converting your Brand Guidelines to a cloud-based website
  • Creating social media assets and content

Let's start a conversation

Header photo courtesy of Brooke Lark, Unsplash.

The S.M.A.R.T. goal setting technique was developed by George T. Doran.