For many, January serves as a time to start anew and work on areas of their lives they would like to improve. However, too much change at once is hard to sustain. One way to keep New Year’s resolutions realistic and attainable is to be SMART (specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and timely). These guidelines help make sure your goals are written in such a way that sets you up for success.

Follow these tips to make SMART resolutions and take advantage of resources on campus to support your efforts.

Be specific
An example of a general wellness goal would be that you want to get in shape. Be more specific on exactly what you want to do to achieve your overall goals.

General goal: I want to get in better shape.
Specific goal: I will not spend more than $25 a week on eating at restaurants.

Make goals measurable
Tracking progress is a great way to not only to keep yourself in check but also to see positive gains toward overall goals. To make sure a goal is measurable, address specifics like how often and when.

General goal: I want to eat more fruits and vegetables.
Measurable goal: I want to eat two servings of fruits and veggies at every meal.

Ready, set, ACTION!
Goals should be written in a way that it is clear what action(s) you need to take. Doing so provides you a blueprint to guide you toward success.

General goal: I want to stress less in 2014.
Actionable goal: I will sign up for the Practice of Positive Living class or I will get a massage once a month.

Be realistic
It’s easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of making changes and set the bar really high. Make your goals smaller and realistic, while working towards your overall wellness goals.

Unrealistic goal: I am going to stop eating all sweets and sugars.
Realistic goal: I am going to limit myself to dessert twice a week.

Be timely
Set a time frame for reaching your goal. This will help you be accountable and also be able to adjust goals as you make progress.
General goal: I want to be able to run 3 miles.
Timely goal: I want to be able to run 3 miles by the Homecoming 5k in October.

Use this sheet to help you make sure any resolutions you have are SMART.


Seven: Discover Wellness at Illinois State
Seven is an incentive program that awards points for wellness activities logged. Points are earned through activities logged, with monthly challenges and prize drawings. The program also helps participants focus on all seven dimensions of wellness: emotional, environmental, intellectual, physical, social, spiritual, and vocational. Seven runs from September through April, and it’s never too late to join!

Free nutrition consultations

Confidential one-on-one nutrition consultations are available for free to faculty, staff, and students through Health Promotion and Wellness. Schedule one today!

Stress management
Health Promotion and Wellness has numerous programs to help students, faculty, and staff manage their stress. Massage is available on campus twice a week, and therapy dogs visit campus once a month. Practice of Positive Living is an eight-week program held each semester that helps teach participants practical stress management skills. Additional resources are available.

Student Fitness Center
Check out new classes available this semester at the Student Fitness Center. Faculty and staff can purchase a membership for less than $27 a month!

Exercise Physiology Lab
If you want a closer look at your health and fitness in the new year, visit the Exercise Physiology Laboratory. The lab provides students, faculty, staff, and community members with state-of-the-art technology and advanced knowledge to succeed with their fitness goals or to optimize athletic performance. Faculty, staff, and students can receive comprehensive health screenings, body composition, and fitness assessments. Lab staff can create customized exercise programs and plans to help each individual reach their health and fitness goals.

Services provided include body composition testing (Bod Pod); metabolic fuel utilization (resting and activity-based); daily energy expenditure analysis using SenseWear armband technology; and fitness profiling to examine muscular strength, muscular endurance, cardiovascular endurance, body composition, and flexibility. These tests generate information specific to identifying current levels of health and fitness, and how to best work towards goals.

For more information, visit or call (309) 438-3526.