Creating S.M.A.R.T. Goals
A.K.A. How to make your New Year’s resolutions last
Setting New Year’s resolutions is somewhat of a normality in society today, and so is forgetting about them by the time February rolls around. It’s natural to want to make positive changes, whether it’s getting fit, saving money, finding a job, or spending more time with friends. But why is it that so many of us lose sight of that end goal and give up along the way? It may be that it’s not you or your willpower that’s at fault, but the goals themselves. If your goals for 2018 have already evaporated into the ether, these tips for setting S.M.A.R.T goals can help you get back on track.
Check out this introductory video about setting S.M.A.R.T goals:
Now let’s break down each of those criteria a little further so you see how they can be applied to the goals in your life.
S – Specific – A specific goal has a much greater chance of being accomplished than a general goal. To set a specific goal you must answer the six “W” questions:
- Who: Who is involved?
- What: What do I want to accomplish?
- Where: Identify a location, if one is required to complete the task objective.
- When: Establish a realistic and achievable time frame in which to complete the task.
- Which: Identify requirements and constraints that may hinder the progress of completing the task.
- Why: Specific reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing the goal.
EXAMPLE: A general goal would be, “Get in shape.” But a specific goal would say, “Join a health club and workout 3 days a week.”
M – Measurable – Establish concrete criteria for measuring progress toward each goal you set. When you measure your progress, you stay on track, reach your target dates, and experience the exhilaration of achievement that motivates you to continue on and reach your goal!
To determine if your goal is measurable, ask questions such as……How much? How many? How will I know when it is accomplished?
A – Actionable – This is the part where you answer “How?”. Break down the goal into small manageable pieces. For example, if you want to run a marathon, this is where you would create a training schedule and break down day-by-day what you need to do in order to reach your goal.
R – Realistic – A goal can be both high and realistic; you are the only one who can decide just how high your goal should be. Your goal is probably realistic if you truly believe that it can be accomplished. Some other ways to check if your goal is realistic are to determine if you have accomplished anything similar in the past or to ask yourself what conditions would have to exist to accomplish this goal.
T- Timely – A goal should be grounded within a time frame. With no time frame tied to it there’s no sense of urgency. If you want to lose 10kgs., when do you want to lose it by? “Someday” won’t work. But if you anchor it within a timeframe, “by May 1st”, then you’ve set your unconscious mind into motion to begin working on the goal.
Now you’re ready to set your goals!
Pull out that list of New Year’s resolutions and re-work them keeping the principles of S.M.A.R.T goal setting in mind! Here’s to making 2018 the year that our resolutions stick!