Every year people make New Year’s Resolutions and every year, most people FAIL to keep those resolutions. Why is that? Because the resolutions or goals are not SMART. When setting a goal for yourself, take a few moments to really think about the goal. Why is it important? What is holding you back? Why have you failed in the past? Then take some time to make sure the goals follow the SMART steps.
Specific: Be specific in your goal. Saying you want to “exercise more” or “eat healthier” is not specific. Instead, determine the time and type of exercise you want to do. For example, “I will walk for 30 minutes 3 times a week”. Instead of “eat healthier”, consider “I will eat at least 5 servings for fruits or vegetables a day”.
Measurable: Keep track and measure your progress. Consider a journal or calendar and make sure you check off the days that you achieve your goal.
Attainable: Make sure your goals are attainable. For example, if you have never exercised in your life, aiming to run a marathon is probably not attainable and will set you up to fail. However, setting an attainable goal, like training to run a 5k will help set you up for success. This is important. Always set yourself up for success not failure!
Realistic: Take a look at your life. Are the goals you have set out realistic? For example, if you are not a morning person, it is not realistic to expect that you will exercise 4 mornings a week. This might be one of the reasons you have failed to make exercise a habit in the past. Consider taking a walk at lunch time instead, or exercising after work. This is where it helps to take some time to look at why you have been unsuccessful at attaining a particular goal in the past.
Time-Based: Put a time limit on your goal. To do this, you might consider breaking down your goal into smaller sub-goals. You may want to run a 5k by the end of 2019. That is your goal but your sub-goal might be to run 2km by the end of March, 4 km by the end of May and then running the full 5k in July. Setting sub-goals helps you stay on track and allows you to experience small “wins” along the way to help motivate you to keep going.
By following the SMART steps, you are more likely to achieve success in attaining your goals. Good luck!