It’s the beginning of a new year and with it comes hope and a chance to do things better than the year before. Many people reflect on their future, making New Year’s Resolutions as a way to set goals and monitor their achievement. Unfortunately, often times these goals are too vague or too lofty and are quickly broken. Here’s a “SMART” way to achieve greater success.
Specific: If your goal is specific, that means that it is well defined and not ambiguous. Vague goals leave room for interpretation and it is easier to justify not doing them. Specific goals are a clear set of directions to get where you want to go.
Measurable: Measurable goals allow you to keep track of your progress, letting you know if you are on track or you need to step it up a notch to reach your goal. Some ways to measure goals are to include figures, numbers, measurements, percentages, dates, times, etc.
Achievable: Some goals are better off defined as long-term goals rather than New Year’s Resolutions. While it’s true that you can do anything if you are willing to work hard and put the time in, you can set yourself up for failure if the resolution cannot be achieved within the timeframe you set.
Relevant: Your New Year’s Resolutions should be in line with your values and your goals for the future. Don’t waste your time with goals that will not propel you forward in life. Think of your New Year’s Resolution as a springboard, the first steps on your way to the life that you want.
Timely: Remember these are New Year’s Resolutions, which means that you should select goals that you are able to achieve within one year.
Here are five common goals and how to make them SMART goals.
Common Goal: Lose weight
SMART Goal: Lose 10 pounds by January 31.
Common Goal: Save money
SMART Goal: Save $1,200 by January 31 by saving $50 a month from my paycheck every two weeks.
Common Goal: Spend more time with my family.
SMART Goal: Once a month plan a family day.
Common Goal: Eat healthier
SMART Goal: Eat healthier by preparing home cooked, portion-controlled meals at least 3 days a week.
Common Goal: Manage stress
SMART Goal: Manage stress by waking up every morning and meditating for 20 minutes and taking a yoga class once a week.
The key to achieving your New Year’s Resolutions is to think SMART, don’t give up and keep working towards the future that you have in mind.