The S.M.A.R.T way to achieve New Year’s resolutions


Did you make a New Year’s resolution for 2016? A good portion of us make resolutions at the start of every year.

In fact almost half the adult population in this country makes one or more resolutions each year. The most popular New Year’s resolutions involve weight loss, exercise and quitting smoking. Also popular goals are better money management and debt reduction.

Also, here’s how many people keep their resolutions after specific periods of time…

• Past the first week: 75%

• Past two weeks: 71%

• After one month: 64%

• After six months: 46%

No matter what you choose for a resolution, use the S.M.A.R.T. system to improve your odds for success.


It’s difficult to hit a target if you haven’t defined it. Being specific allows you to sharpen your focus. And with more focus, your chances for success increase.


You need to quantify what you would like to achieve. Saying that you want to lose weight in 2016 is not the same as saying you want to lose 15 pounds and 3 inches off your waistline during the same period. How will you know you’ve achieved your goal if you cannot measure it? Being able to measure your achievements also allows you to create smaller milestones on your way to ultimate success. Experiencing smaller accomplishments delivers positive reinforcement, sometimes providing the necessary boost you need in more difficult times.


With goal setting, the ultimate purpose is to experience the feelings associated with achieving success. If your sights are set too high, it’s unlikely you’ll ever realize these feelings. Furthermore, if goals are set with unachievable expectations, your feelings are more likely to be associated with failure instead of success. See setbacks as opportunities to practice your will power and resolve, and not as examples of inabilities.


What makes your resolution meaningful? Your goals are more likely to be completed if they are significant to you. What impact will it have on your life in the days, weeks, months or years ahead? When you connect with its value, you’re more likely to invest the time and energy to make the goal happen.


Having a specific time frame to accomplish something lends a sense of urgency to the task. And it slashes procrastination. This year, make one of your resolutions to take good care of your mind and body. Every other intention you set for 2016 will work better when you enjoy good health. Here are some basic reminders to enjoying good health.

1. Exercise regularly — movement prolongs the life of all bodily systems.

2. Eat a healthy diet — to maintain good health and prevent disease.

3. Drink 8 to 10 glasses of water daily. The body consists of 65% water.

4. Think positively — good thoughts lead to good feelings, and good feelings contribute to good health.

5. Sleep at least 7-9 hours per night — sleep is restorative for all systems of the body.

6. Focus on being thankful and appreciate what you have now. Then, look forward to your New Year’s resolution as a means to enhance your life!

It is best to consult with your health care provider before starting a weight loss or exercise regime. They can provide the expertise and care you need to achieve your goals for a healthy 2016.

Dr. Erika R. Hamer, D.C., DIBCN, is a Chiropractic Neurologist and the owner of the Ponte Vedra Wellness Center. Opened in 2004, Ponte Vedra Wellness Center is a traditional chiropractic and chiropractic neurology clinic for adults, children, and pregnant women. For more, visit