New Year, New Me! How many times have you said that, just to find yourself being the “same you” by February. New Year’s resolutions are easy to make, but not always easy to stick to. I want to share with you a concept that may be the trick for you to follow through with your resolutions. The secret is to have SMART goals. SMART is an acronym that can guide you with creating goals that actually work.
Let’s break it down,
S- Specific. When you set specific goals they are more likely to be accomplished. You want to be as specific as possible from the beginning. What exactly do you want to accomplish, who will be involved, why do you want to accomplish this, etc. Dig deep into every possible detail surrounding the resolution.
M- Measurable. In this step you want to make sure you are measuring the progress of your resolution. This will help you stay on track, and also allows you an opportunity to reward yourself as you hit targets! Praising your achievements will keep you motivated along the journey.
A- Achievable. Now, your goal should definitely be something that’s going to challenge you, but it shouldn’t be down-right impossible! Find the balance, and make sure the goal is doable.
R- Realistic. Like achievable, the resolution has to be realistic.
T- Time specific. This step many people forget to consider. When you set a resolution, it’s important to have a time frame. And when I say time frame, I don’t mean “someday”. Anchor down a target date. Do you plan on accomplishing the resolution in 1 month? 6? 12? This will hold you accountable to your progress.
These last steps are extremely important! Many times people will set a resolution that looks good on paper, but is totally unachievable. If you set impossible goals, your progress will be slim to none; this will lead you to feel discouraged. Discouragement will lead to a sense of failure and a sense of failure will lead you to give up!
You should write down your goal. List each one of these steps individually and make sure that each step is met before moving on to the next one. If you find yourself stuck on a step, this should trigger you to reevaluate the goal. Be careful if you find yourself having to reevaluate your goal, you don’t want to change it so much that you lose interest in it.
Another benefit of writing down your goal is that you have something tangible to refer to! Write your goal on a post-it, or piece of paper. Tape it to your mirror, on your bulletin board at work, anywhere it will be a visible reminder of encouragement for you every day.
So, take a look at the resolution(s) you made for this year, are you already giving up on them? I encourage you to re-think them, write them down and try to organize them as SMART goals. You just may see a difference!