Here’s to setting better goals instead of resolutions in the New Year. It’s not that we don’t like resolutions; we’re all for creating a healthier, more improved version of you. It’s just that resolutions tend to receive a bad wrap. They’re often lofty and while set with the best intentions, they’re also not the easiest to achieve.
Enter SMART goal setting – the best way to focus in on exactly what it is you want to achieve in the coming year. It can also help take a relatively large goal, such as lose 20 pounds, and break it up into smaller, more achievable goals. Maybe you’ve even heard of SMART goal setting before. If not, here’s a little guide.
Make sure your goals clearly define what it is you set out to do. In general, it should be very easy to figure out whether or whether not you reached your goal.
When you set a goal, there needs to be a way to measure your success. Basically, you need a way to prove you’ve reached your goal. For example, in the case of weight loss, your scale allows you to measure the number of pounds lost.
While it is important to set goals that challenge you, you also need to be realistic about what you can accomplish. Make sure you have the appropriate knowledge and skills to reach your goal. If not, try enlisting the help of someone who does.
Your goals need to focus on outcomes, not just what you do to get there. Again, did you lose the weight or not? You can however use activities to create mini-goals, such as I’ll go to the gym 3 times a week.
Give yourself a deadline! When do you want to reach your goal? By setting a time frame, it allows you to figure out what steps you need to take to achieve your goal.