It is now several weeks into the New Year. How are your resolutions going? If you are having trouble keeping them, try setting them as S.M.A.R.T. goals! What’s a S.M.A.R.T. goal you might ask?
A S.M.A.R.T. goal is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.
Specific: Write as much information as you can about your goals. Is there anyone else involved besides you? What exactly do you want to accomplish? What are the precise steps that you need take to make this goal a reality?
Measurable: Give yourself goals that have numbers or values to make it easier to track how you are doing and how close you are getting to reaching your goal. Use benchmarks or milestones if this will help you stay motivated.
Attainable: Are your goals actually in your power to change? Keep in mind finances, body shape, what is going to be good for your health etc. Make sure your goals do not go against the things you cannot change. Visualize the change you want to make and stick to it.
Realistic: Try not to set outlandish goals. Don’t be afraid to take baby steps. It is better to set a smaller goal and then set a new goal once you’ve accomplished the first one than set a large goal that seems/is impossible to reach.
Timely: Put your goals in a time frame to help you keep your focus. Does this time frame give you enough time to safely complete your goals? Where do your milestones fit into the time frame you have set?
Once you have set your S.M.A.R.T. goals, write them down on paper and keep them in a place where you can review them. Place notes around your house as motivation, especially in places where you are more likely to not follow your goals. Write down accomplishments and milestones that you have achieved alongside your original goal and pat yourself on the back!
Here is an example:
Goal – Eat five homemade dinners a week at home.
- Ask my family for help and support of my goal
- Set aside time for and complete meal planning and grocery shopping on Saturday
- Set aside time for and complete as much cooking and preparation of dinner meals for the upcoming week over the weekend, leaving minimal work to do at night
- Do not stop at fast food on my way home from work! Even if I am tired.
- Complete the rest of the cooking process when I get home as needed per night and ENJOY!
This could even be one step in several steps to a long term goal of weight loss. What are some changes that you will make to make your goals S.M.A.R.T.?