Are those resolutions that seemed like such a good idea on December 31st beginning to feel a bit out of reach?
When life gets too busy and we haven’t made any headway towards our resolutions, we often just give up. But don’t lose hope yet. Maybe you just need some help defining and readjusting your goals. And remember: Seek the journey, not perfection.
Instead of resolutions, set SMART goals!
Achievement of resolutions is more likely when our goals are:
- Specific (simple, sensible, significant)
- Measurable (meaningful, motivating)
- Achievable (agreed, attainable)
- Relevant (reasonable, realistic, results-based)
- Time-bound (time-limited, time-sensitive)
1) Specific Your goal should be clear to help focus your efforts.
- What EXACTLY do I want to accomplish? Make this as detailed and specific as possible.
- Why is this goal important to me?
- Which resources or limits are involved?
2) Measurable Don’t look at just the end-goal, determine ways to asses your progress all year long so you stay motivated.
- How much/many?
- How will I know when it is accomplished?
- What do I hope to achieve by April 1st, July 1st, October 1st?
3) Achievable Your goal needs to be realistic and attainable in order to be successful. In other words, it should stretch your abilities but still remain possible.
- How can I accomplish this goal?
- How realistic is the goal, based on other constraints, such as financial factors?
Tip: Beware setting goals that someone else has power over. For example, “Get that promotion!” depends on who else applies, and on the recruiter’s decision. But “Get the experience and training that I need to be considered for that promotion” is entirely down to you.
4) Relevant This step ensures that your goals matter to you and that they align with other relevant goals.
- Is this worthwhile?
- Is this the right time?
- Does this match my other efforts/needs
5) Time-bound Every goal needs a target date as something to work toward. This helps to prevent everyday tasks from taking priority over your longer-term goals.
- When should I have achieved this by?
- What can I do six months from now?
- What can I do six weeks from now?
- What can I do today?
One last tip: Write down & continually reference throughout the year WHY your goal is important to you. For example, eating reheated leftovers for lunch gets boring fast, so stay motivated by reminding yourself WHY you are doing this. Maybe it’s to save money for a much-desired vacation or even a boring but much-needed home appliance. When we can mentally and visually remember WHY we are working hard towards a goal, it’ll keep you going during the drudgery and hard work.