It’s a pretty well-known fact that following through with New Year’s resolutions can be difficult. Losing weight and other health-related goals are frequently the most popular resolutions from year to year, but many individuals end up quitting after a few weeks or months.
Common pitfalls with resolutions
Sometimes, we’re not able to complete our resolutions because we make them too vague. For example, if you say, “I want to lose weight,” it will be more challenging to know whether you are successful without attaching a specific weight or timeframe.
We can also lose track of our progress if we make the goal too unrealistic and then we become quickly discouraged, or we don’t have a way to measure our progress along the way. If you want to ultimately achieve a big goal, it would be easier to track if you create milestones for the entire journey. For example: “I want to lose 20 pounds by the end of the year, so I should try to lose 5 pounds within 3 months’ time.”
You can see why the most important step to ensuring success is the first one: creating the goal itself. Using the “SMART” system of goal setting is one way to focus and plan what you want to achieve.
What is SMART?
What does SMART stand for? SMART goals typically have these five following characteristics:
Specific: Avoid making your goal too general or vague.
Measurable: Set it up so that you’ll know whether or not you’re making progress.
Achievable: Create a goal that you can actually attain.
Relevant: The goal should be related to your values and other goals in life. That way, the goal would be more meaningful to you, and you will feel more motivated.
Time bound: Set a timeframe around your goal, to better measure your progress and evaluate your level of success.
By making sure your goal is SMART, you will be thinking through the what, when, where, how, and why behind your objective. In other words, you’ll be more strategic and prepared to meet your goals – whether they’re tied to New Year’s resolutions or not!
Whatever your goals may be, whether they’re related to health, finances, career, personal growth, etc., make sure that they’re SMART.