Turn your New Year’s Resolutions into SMART Goals

New Year … New You!


Christmas is over, and now it’s time to think about the new year.  That’s the time of year when we all tend to begin thinking about what we would like to accomplish in this new year, and what we would like to leave behind us.  Usually we are looking to get rid of bad habits and pick up some good habits, but often this is easier said than done.  Here are some helpful hints to get you started on that New Years resolution:

You may have heard of  SMART goals.  Specific goals.  Measurable goals.  Attainable goals.  Relevant goals.  Timely Goals.  The acronym just helps to organize our thoughts in a way that can allow us to move towards the things we want to achieve in a realistic way.

1. SPECIFIC.  Make a list of SPECIFIC things you would like to accomplish.  For example:

  • Lose 25 1bs by the end of 2019.
  • Give up smoking by the end of 2019
  • I will no longer be stressed
  • Find a new job

These are your end goals, they are specific and not vague.

2. MEASURABLE.  You have to be able to measure your progress and see that you are continually and successfully working towards your goals.  For example, working towards your weight loss goal is MEASURED by weigh ins that show you are losing weight.  You can MEASURE your smoking habits based on decreasing how much your smoke regularly and consistently until you are ready to stop altogether.   Becoming less stressed can be measured by your general state of mind improving week by week.  Taking steps towards finding a new job is evidence that you are working towards this goal.  When thinking about how measurable your goals are, is where you begin to break down specifically HOW you are going to get from where you are now, to where you want to be.  For example:

  • To lose 251bs in a year you need to: change your eating habits, begin an exercise regime.
  • Next take steps towards those things.  Enroll in an exercise program, begin a new eating regime.
  • To stop smoking:  Begin to reduce cigarettes daily, set a date when you will stop and use the patch or some other form of smoking cessation help to stop completely.
  • To decrease stress identify what stresses you out, and try to change those situations.
  • To find a new job you just need to begin looking or interviewing.

3. ATTAINABLE.  Your goals have to be realistic and attainable.  You don’t want to give yourself an impossible task by an unrealistic date, and set yourself up to fail.  Be sure that what you are setting out to do is possible.

4. RELEVANT.  Your goal has to be something that is worthwhile.  Something that you are willing and able to work towards and once achieved will be worth the effort.

5. TIMELY.  Above all you should impose time constraints on your goals.  Rather than leaving them open ended make sure you have a time schedule attached to each goal.  Setting a deadline will give you motivation and a sense of urgency in achieving your goals.

perhaps you want to share your goals with a friend, or you and a friend share your goals with each other and have regular check ins to see how you are doing working towards each goals.  Accountability can go a long way towards maintaining motivation as you move forward toward your goals.