New Year’s resolutions and SMART goals

At this time of year, there is a lot of discussion around New Year’s Resolutions – not just making them but how difficult it can be to keep them.  A way of setting goals that might maximise your chances of success is to make them “SMART”.

SMART goals
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SMART stands for*

Specific

Measurable

Achievable

Relevant

Time-limited

 

What do all these mean?

Specific

This means that your goal needs to be specific in terms of what you will do, as opposed to generalised outcomes.

For example: “I will be less rushed” is general, but “I will get up earlier in the mornings” is specific.  A way of choosing your specific goal is to ask yourself “how?” when considering what you plan to do.

Measurable

This helps you to work out what your measure for success is, and how to know when you have achieved it.

For example: “I will get up early” is general and difficult to measure, but “I will get up by 7:30am every weekday” is measurable.

Achievable

To maximise your chances of success, be realistic about what you can do.

For example: “I will go to the gym for two hours every day” isn’t going to be achievable or sustainable in the long term.  You might like to aim at something smaller, such as, “I will exercise for 30 minutes three times a week.”

Relevant

This is where you must consider if the goal you have set is something that is going to be helpful for you right now.  Is it something that really applies to your life and will make it better?

Time-limited

This commits you to a set time to achieve your goals.  You might like to choose a date to achieve something by, or decide to keep up the habit for a set time (for example, a month).

You might find these tips useful for keeping you on track if you would like to keep going at a new habit for a period of time.

 

The important thing about SMART goals is that they are entirely individual to you.  You decide what you want to do and you decide what success will look like for you.  Good luck!

 

*there are some variations on what the letters stand for, but most come down to the same thing.  Choose what works for you.