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 your goal.
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?