New Year’s resolutions often fail because people set goals that are
too vague or too lofty. Instead, make your goals SMART! A SMART goal is
one that is:
S: Specific – A specific goal describes exactly what you are going to do and how
you are going to do it. So, instead of saying “I am going to get in
shape,” you should say something specific like, “I am going to walk
during my lunch break 3 days per week and lift weights after work at
the gym 2 days per week.”
M: Measureable – How are you going to track your
progress? With the previous example of walking and lifting weights,
you could keep track of how many days per week you walked at lunch and
lifted weights after work, and each week you could evaluate if you met
A: Attainable – Make sure your goal is reachable.
Don’t be afraid to adjust your goal if you find it is too difficult or
too easily attained. For example, if you found out that lifting
weights after work was not working with your schedule, then perhaps you
may want to adjust it to one day per week at home and once on the
weekends. Just don’t give up!
R: Realistic – Our example goal may or may not be
realistic for you. If you don’t have time to walk during your lunch
break, or you don’t have a place to walk, then the goal if not
realistic for you. A goal is realistic only if you truly believe you
can accomplish it.
T: Timely – Set a timeframe for your goal. Our example goal is timely, because it specifies when you will accomplish your goal- during your lunch break and after work.
Other ways to stay accountable for your New Year’s resolution:
- Find a friend with a similar resolution. Make a pact to help each other stick with it.
- Keep a journal on your progress or blog about it.
- Remind yourself why you’ve set the goal. Write it down, and post it somewhere where you’ll see it daily.
What is your New Year’s resolution?