Making a SMART New Year’s Resolution
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Everyone makes New Year’s resolutions! Almost everyone fails at keeping their New Year’s Resolutions. As a teacher I taught my students how to set goals and achieve them each reporting period, they would set new goals to achieve. I always used the SMART method of setting goals. You can use SMART Goals for personal, business, professional, ane educational goals. If you use this method you are more likely to succeed in 2020 on your New Year’s Resolutions.
In general, we set goals on general terms – I want to lose weight – I want to exercise more – I want to get healthier – I want to get rid of all my credit card debt – These resolutions are broad, the chances of you actually following through are slim. The SMART resolution method will make your goal attainable.
Always think SMART – SMART is an acronym for S-pecific, M-easurable, A-chievable R-ealistic, T-imely – Through this process you will create a resolution that is accessible. Understand if you follow the measurable, achievable, realistic and timely, you will accomplish the specific!
Measurable – In order for your resolution to become measurable you have to make it concrete. Think, how much? How many? How will I know I have accomplished the goal? When you set a measurable resolution you will more likely stay on track, keep your momentum, and end the year successfully. For instance, I want to lose weight in 2020, it becomes, I want to lose 40 pounds. This is measurable! I can measure the results in how many pounds I lose.
Achievable – Now let’s think about our measurable resolution – is it achievable? Is it realistic to think I can lose 40 pounds? I suppose if you have weight loss surgery or do something drastic, this could be achievable. However, in reality, this goal is pretty lofty. Let’s look at our resolutions and see if we can make it more attainable in a year. If I begin exercising, eating healthy, and meditating to reduce stress I know I will lose weight, but 40 pounds is not realistic for me. I can probably lose about 5 pounds a month and stay healthy. That would be more achievable. Create a new more specific resolution, I want to lose 20 pounds by May 1, 2020. This is more achievable and if you can actually achieve this goal, you will feel successful about your weight loss and not feel defeated and give up. On May 1, 2020, you can create a new SMART goal to lose the next 20 pounds. Feeling better about that resolution yet? Just wait, we are not finished yet!
Realistic – A resolution must be a goal that you are willing and able to accomplish. Your resolution can be set as high as you really think you can achieve. Sometimes a higher resolution can be achieved easier because you will be more motivated to reach a higher resolution than you might be a lower resolution. It all depends on your motivation, only you can determine how high you can set your expectation. Let’s look at our resolution again. Is it high enough? Is it too low? Realistically, can you lose 40? Could you lose more? You might want to change the resolution to meet your realism. Currently, our resolution is – I want to lose 40 pounds. I am going a little higher – I want to lose 80 pounds. Is it realistic? I am highly motivated to reach this resolution, it is measurable, so it is realistic! Oh, we are getting even more specific!
Timely – Is my resolution set to a time-table? To resolve your resolution you need to set a time to measure the resolution. Will you measure it at the end of the year? Can you measure your resolution sooner? Should you change your measure and make the time sooner? Again, it is up to you. I prefer short-term goals, I tend to get off track if my goals are far off on the calendar. I tend to think… I have plenty of time, I will do it tomorrow. If you make it sooner and reach your goal, you could add another SMART goal to achieve even more in the same year. Or break down your goal into smaller goals. Let’s look at the resolution again – I want to lose 80 pounds. I can think of this in many terms. Would it be easier to lose 5 pounds in one month? Ten pounds in 2 months? Forty pounds in 6 months? Keep it as eighty pounds in a year? Now let’s change the resolution so we know when to meet the goal. I want to lose 20 pounds by May 1, 2018. This resolution is measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. Now, let us see if we are specific enough yet!
Specific – I will lose 20 pounds by May 1, 2020, through exercise, eating healthy, and meditation.
Our original resolution:
I want to lose weight.
Our SMARTer resolution:
I want to lose 20 pounds by May 1, 2020, through diet, exercise and meditation.
Is this is as specific as we can get? Well, not really! Do you want to lose weight or is it something you WILL achieve? Many times it is as simple as a word that can help you accomplish the most specific resolution. The word “want” is not firm, it is unresolved, unyielding, “want” leads one to believe you may or may not meet your resolution. Let’s be more secure in our resolution! We “will”!
Our SMART Resolution:
I will lose 20 pounds by May 1, 2018.
This Resolution is –
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Achievable
R – Realistic
T – Timely
You can use this process with any resolution. Start with your stated resolution and then check to make sure it is SMART!
Tools to help you SUCCEED with your SMART Resolution:
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