Using SMART goals are a great way to achieve what you want as simply as you possibly can. The acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely, and can be applied in any facet of your life, whether to your physical well-being, self-discipline, or your professional life. Every New Year, we all make well-meaning resolutions to eat better, go to the gym, or use our time more efficiently at work, but we inevitably fail, and usually after only a few weeks of effort. By using SMART goals, you can make a New Year’s resolution stick, and you’ll feel better about yourself when you do.
When you keep your goals specific, success becomes all the more likely because you know what to work on. Rather than making a grand resolution like getting healthy in 2017, try being way more specific. Break the resolution down into its component parts and work on them one at a time. This way, the resolution is the same, but has specific stages to work on rather than trying to do it all at once. Make individual goals regarding diet and exercise that expand as you succeed. Success breeds success, so get as specific as you can with your goals and start achieving your goals.
SMART goals also should be measurable, in that you know with certainty when you’ve met them. To continue the example of the getting healthy resolution, it seems very hard to know when that goal has been met. Are you healthy when you’ve lost 20 pounds, or if you’ve cut out junk food? Many times people really don’t have a good answer to questions like these because they are not specific or measurable. Be sure to quantify your goal so you know without a doubt when it’s been met.
Often, people make New Year’s resolutions that can’t possible be kept despite their best efforts and intentions. In reality, there are very few of us with the discipline necessary to go to the gym seven days a week, so if your New Year’s resolution is to get fit, you may want to start smaller with one or two days a week. Making a lofty goal is all well and good, but keeping it is another matter. Do yourself a favor a start with small, attainable goals, and watch your confidence grow with each success.
Sometimes, people make New Year’s resolutions to avoid what they really need to work on. An individual may resolve to start going to the gym, but what they really need to do to get healthy is quit smoking. Or they may need to work on spending, and resolve to get a promotion at work. Keep your resolution relevant to what you need to work on. It will prove that much easier to stay on track. This may take facing some hard truths, but it’s worth it in the end.
Keeping your goals timely is very important. If your goals aren’t timely, you will keep finding excuses to put them off. Setting a specific date to complete your goal gives you something to work towards with some sense of urgency. This does wonders for your motivation, and keeps you going when things get tough. Make you SMART New Year’s resolution time-sensitive, and succeed in 2017 with ease.