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Smart advice assists teens with resolutions for a new year

Thousands of adults are beginning to rethink new year resolutions that may be impossible to achieve, but how different is the success rate for teens and young adults?

Research has shown that the best outcome for any change in our lives, regardless of age, is to make changes smart ones. (S.M.A.R.T. stands for: specific, measurable, achievable, reasonable and time-oriented) 

Let's run through a standard weight loss plan with a smart goal in mind.

  • Specific: Don't just say you want to lose weight.  Come up with a specific weight-loss plan, including short, mid, and long term goals.  Be sure to readjust your plan as you move towards your target weight.
  • Measurable: How much weight do you plan to lose?  Set a measurable objective of no more than one to two pounds per week.
  • Achievable: Is your goal one that can be achieved?  Make sure you aren't shooting for a blue moon here!
  • Reasonable: Consider whether your goal is a reasonable one.  While you may be able to lose twenty pounds in the next six months, setting a goal of losing fifty pounds may not be reasonable.
  • Time-oriented: If you have a goal of a specific time frame (such as Spring formal, reunion, etc.) remember to allow yourself enough time to be able to meet your deadline.

Visualization is something almost everyone has heard of.  One of the problems people have is making it about something it isn't. 

If your teen's physique is pear shaped, it might frustrate them to tape a picture of a figure eight model on your bathroom mirror or refrigerator.  Help choose a complimentary picture of them that is achievable and place a copy in their car, at work or school, on the refrigerator, computer and mirrors. 

A concrete physical item can be effective too.  Perhaps your teen has a favorite pair of jeans, or top, they no longer can wiggle into. Place them where they will spot it several times a day.  If they also have a belt or scarf, try keeping that item in their car or bathroom so they have a consistent reminder of the object and objective.  As they get closer to your target goal and date, go ahead and try your clothing item on.  As it begins to fit better, your success will be enhanced.

Spend some time thinking about the underlying objective: Is it the weight they want to lose, or better self-esteem, clothing that fits, or increased stamina and a healthier you?

Don't be afraid to reassess goals by asking how well you're doing.  If you've goofed today, spend time thinking about what could have been done differently?  What did you do right?  How can you do it better tomorrow?

You know yourself better than anyone else, so remind yourself what has worked for you in the past and what things have gotten in your way.  Hold yourself accountable by telling a friend.  Hold yourself even more accountable by telling the world!

Where do teens have the advantage?  They don't have years of preconceived failure behind them.

Stay positive and goal oriented.  If you have a failure one day, follow it with a success the next!


  • honeychild 5 years ago

    S.M.A.R.T. is good advice regardless of the person's age. thanks!

  • ronda 5 years ago

    Yes, you are correct, honeychild! It works well for about any age group, as well as any thing you might want to do with your life, whether that be changes in old, or new habits!

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