The New Year is a time of change and improvement. Along with the change of a new year comes a fresh start and a clean slate. Around the end of December most people start thinking about their New Year’s resolutions and what they would like to improve on or change come January. It has become a common theme that most people do not follow through with their resolutions and they end up ditching them a few weeks later. However, this does not always have to be the case! Most people end up not following through with their resolutions because they might not be thoroughly thought out. One way to ensure that your resolution is achievable is by making sure that you are setting SMART goals.
The first step in setting a SMART goal is to make sure that your goal is Specific. Setting a specific goal makes it easier to know exactly what you are trying to accomplish and does not leave much room for any grey area. Putting some thought into this before you start your goal can make the process run more smoothly and will allow you plan accordingly as to how you will achieve your specific goal.
The second step is setting a SMART goal is by making sure it is Measurable. Making a goal measurable entails setting a deadline and making sure you know what you are looking for once you reach that deadline. Asking yourself, “How will I know when I have reached this goal?,” is a good way of coming up with your measurement. Also, thinking about what it will feel or look like when you reach this goal can help you visualize what type of measurement you will be using.
Third, you need to make sure your goal is Achievable. Ask yourself if the goal is realistic with some effort and commitment on your part. It is important to be honest with yourself about this section of your goal-setting process. Setting a goal that is unrealistic can lead to feelings of defeat and failure. You can also ask yourself if you have the proper resources to achieve this goal. If you answer no to either of these two questions you will need to alter the goal to make sure it is realistic.
Fourth, ensure that your goal is Relevant. Think about what your reasons for setting this goal are and list them out. Why is it important for you to achieve this goal? What relevance does it hold in your life and how will it impact your happiness and well-being? Processing these questions and coming up with answers for them can help you figure out why this goal is significant in your life. Reminding yourself of the relevance can be a motivational factor in accomplishing your goal.
Finally, your goal must be Timely. Set a deadline and end date for your goal. Once again, make sure this is a realistic deadline. Take some time to think about how long it will take you to accomplish this. Look at past patterns you have with goal setting and think about how long it will take you to achieve this resolution if you put in time and effort for it.
Using these helpful steps can make your New Year’s resolution one that is actually worth creating and one that can be accomplished through some hard work and dedication. Take some time to think about these five different areas of goal setting and write out a SMART goal to work towards this New Year. After all, everyone can use some change every once in a while.
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