The fresh start of a new year feels like a clean slate for many of us. It’s often used as an opportunity to do something new. We don’t know where we’re going to be next year, and setting New Year’s Resolutions doesn’t always work out how we plan. We often make resolutions that end up being impossible to stick to or achieve and all too often we end up slowly retreating to old habits. Why? Because resolutions rarely have actionable steps and you end up left with no sense of direction with vague and unrealistic goals. Try turning this year’s resolutions into realistic SMART goals that you can stick to and actually accomplish!
How to be SMART?
SMART goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. Ensuring that your goal meets all the requirements of a SMART goal will provide clarity, motivation and focus, making your goal that much easier to achieve.
You should be able to say what you want to accomplish and why it’s important to you with your goal. You need to be clear and specific so you can focus your efforts and feel motivated to achieve it.
Having measurable goals that are within your control will help you to track your progress to help you stay focused and achieve your deadlines. Make sure that you don’t rely on someone else to measure your success such as receiving a promotion as that isn’t in your control.
Make sure your goal is realistic and achievable. An achievable goal will usually be able to answer these questions:
- How can I accomplish this goal
- How realistic is the goal based on other constraints, such as financial factors?
It’s important that your goal matters to you and will be relevant in your life right now, especially when setting professional goals. Make sure that your goals seem worthwhile and will fit in with other efforts and responsibilities you may have.
You should set a specific deadline for accomplishment. Having this deadline will create a sense of urgency to help you to focus and work towards your goal instead of being tempted to just put it off because you don’t have a deadline.
Tell a friend
Tell a friend, family member or someone you trust your goals and how you plan to achieve them. Doing this will make you accountable and more likely to achieve what you have planned. Have someone check in on your progress to make sure you stick to your plan and keep you motivated.