On January 1st, 2017, I resolved to work out more. I was determined and had a plan outlined in my mind. My motivation was strong. I was ready to defy the common stereotype and actually fulfill my New Year’s resolution.
This year, most people will do the same. We are just over a week into 2018 and many of us have already dropped our resolutions.
The biggest problem with New Year’s resolutions is that our goals are never SMART.
SMART is an acronym and it stands for:
Specific – Instead of making your New Year’s resolution, “I want to lose weight,” commit to something more like, “I will lose fifty pounds.”
Measurable – The goal has to be clearly measurable. For example, a measurable goal would be, “I want to lose one pound every week.” You could measure this goal by weighing yourself every week.
Achievable – If you’re working towards a larger life change, like losing weight, you need to take smaller steps along the way. Instead of making your goal, “I want to lose weight,” make several smaller goals like, “I want to go to the gym four days a week,” and “I will give up soda and potato chips.”
Relevant – When you set achievable goals, they have to go along with the larger resolution you are trying to fulfill. Don’t make one of your goals, “I will spend less time on social media,” if your larger resolution is to lose weight.
Timely – Your goal has to have a deadline that is realistic. For example, the deadline for you to lose that next pound is the end of the week. Also bring consequences along with those deadlines. If you don’t meet your goal, you have to limit your time on your phone or disconnect your TV, an an example.
SMART goals help make our goals specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely. They clear up our larger aspirations and give us stepping stones to get there.
In my life, I have used SMART goals to accomplish work that seemed impossible before. For example, I set SMART goals while working on my speech. It helped me tackle writing new drafts and practice. Without setting specific goals, I wouldn’t have known where to start, and I wouldn’t have been ready to get up on that stage.
As you are trying to pursue your New Year’s resolution this year, consider splitting them up into SMART goals so you can actually change your life for the better.