As we welcome 2020 and embrace the thought of a new decade, we are bombarded with sayings such as “New Year, New Me!”.
Data shows that our resolutions often fail, not because we are lazy, but often because we are too hopeful. We set goals for ourselves that are unattainable. We like to think we can accomplish more than what is realistic.
When setting your New Year’s Resolution, use the SMART acronym.
Specific. Measurable. Achievable. Realistic. Timely.
Specific. Often we set goals for ourselves such as “I want to lose weight. I want to get a new job.” These general resolutions do not help hold you accountable. Rather than, “I want to lose weight,” make it more specific, such as, “I’d like to work out for an hour, 4 days a week. This will help me reach my goal.”
Measurable. Without the goal being measurable, how will you know when it has been achieved? Assign a numeric value to your goal. For example, “I would like to lose 30 pounds.”
Achievable. The goal should not be simple and easy. It should be challenging. However, it should also be achievable. It should be defined, realistic, and detailed.
Realistic. The goal should be able to be realistically achieved. You should make sure you have the resources, support, and necessary tools needed to achieve the goal. By securing the support needed, this helps the achievable goal to also become realistic.
Timely. Set a deadline for your goals. If there is no deadline, there is no accountability. Use the weight loss resolution for example “I would like to lose 30 pounds.” If you do not set a timeline for yourself, there will be little driving you to push yourself as you work out for an hour, 4 days a week. “I would like to lose 30 pounds in 4 months”. This is a much better goal. It has a deadline, is a challenge, but with hard work, it can be achieved.
By making your goals as specific as possible, it sets you up for success. The SMART method helps push you further, gives you a sense of direction, and helps you organize and reach your goals.
No matter what your New Year’s Resolution is, apply the SMART method to your goals.
Perhaps we can help in making your resolution realistic by providing the support needed to reach your full professional potential.