I’m tired of New Year’s resolutions, aren’t you? They’re so vague and discouraging. “I resolve to get organized” “I resolve to spend more time with my family”… to me, these sound more like good intentions than anything else. Well, I intend to become super fit and intelligent while simultaneously becoming rich, touching lives, and somehow becoming a master gardener (ha!) but these are just vague wishes. For lasting life change, intentions and resolutions just won’t cut it. You need a plan. In other words, we need to start a revolution of New Year’s Goals instead of New Year’s Resolutions.
So how does one go about setting goals that challenge but are within reach? I still like the old acronym for SMART goals. Here are a few things to think about when setting goals in order to make it happen!
Let’s use a common goal as an example. Say I wanted to lose some weight. Here’s how I’d turn that “lose weight” resolution into a doable goal for the year, by making sure it is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time bound.
- Specific. Instead of “I’d like to lose some weight,” try something like “I’d like to lose 30 pounds”
- Measurable. Rather than “I want to trim down my midsection,” (which is pretty hard to measure), do something like “I want to lose 2 inches off my waist.” Inches are measurable.
- Attainable. You need to be realistic. “I want to lose 100 pounds this year” is not very realistic for most people, because this would be nearly 2 pounds a week for the entire year! However, your goal should also push your limits, but make it something you could reasonably achieve.
- Relevant. You have a limited amount of energy, so why set goals for something that isn’t a top priority? It needs to be relevant to your priorities list. If you want to set a “lose weight” type of goal, but your marriage is falling apart, you might consider if it would be more beneficial to set some marriage goals and hold off on the “lose weight” goals until they become more relevant to your life.
- Time Bound. Give yourself a deadline. “I want to fit into my old jeans” is not as effective at motivating you as “I want to fit into my old jeans by my class reunion.” Tis the season for year-long goals, so consider setting a goal which is time bound to be completed by December 31!
So, for our “lose weight” example, a SMART version of this goal might go something like this:
I will lose 30 pounds by the end of 2016.
Now do it. Share one goal for this year in the comments section, but make sure it’s a SMART goal!