I don’t know about you, but I’m really good at setting New Year’s resolutions and even better at forgetting about them come February. After reading on focusing on 1 word, you know that instead of making a huge list of resolutions I started to select 1 over-arching word for the year that will encompass all of my goals. But even when you simplify your list to 1 word, it can be hard to stick to your goals for the year.
It’s GREAT to set to goals each year! With our intentions set high, let’s make sure that we can keep them. Here is the best way to use the SMART method to achieve your goals in the New Year.
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Why the SMART Method is Effective for New Year’s Goals
Your goals are SPECIFIC.
If you have ever read The Secret (which you really need to, as it’s part of my top 4 motivational books to read) then you know you need to be specific. It’s not enough to say you want to be rich or happy or whatever your goal is, because that doesn’t have the kind of meaning that you need. You need to see the goals on a deeper level.
For instance: Instead of saying, “I want to have more readers on my blog”, I would say “I want to have 1,000 people per day reading my blog”. This is a very specific number that will let me know once I’ve achieved it. Make sure you are writing down your goals somewhere! This Kate Spade Spiral Notebook is my favorite for jotting down goals and affirmations.
Your goals are MEASURABLE.
This hits the same point as being specific. You can’t know if you’ve achieved your goal if you can’t track your progress. It’s not enough to say you want to lose weight if there isn’t a specific number attached so that you can measure the amount of inches or pounds lost.
If we use the same example from above, I would measure that goal in number of views. I could see the progress towards 1,000 readers/day by seeing my numbers increase from 100, to 250, etc. I would also celebrate each milestone because it’s the little things in life (Like when I earned my first $5 on Amazon). This makes achieving your goals fun!
Your goals are ATTAINABLE.
The point of setting a goal is for you to eventually achieve it. Yes, you should reach for the stars and set a high bar BUT you still need to be realistic. I can’t say I’m going to pay off $40,000 in student loan debt this year if I only make $32,000. The math isn’t there. Be sure that your goal is something within your wheelhouse of achievement.
I normally set 2 goals for myself. The first is a goal that I know can be reached in a realistic amount of time. The second is what I call a stretch goal. This is a goal that I would LOVE to see happen in a shorter time frame, but one that I know might take a little longer to achieve. It’s ok to have the stretch goal if you also pair it with an attainable goal as well.
Your goals are RELEVANT.
Thankfully, we are all different people with our own special gifts and abilities. When you’re setting your goals, you need to make sure that the goals are custom fit to YOU in who you are as a person. You shouldn’t set goals because you think that a specific set of goals are “required” of you. If you realistically don’t see yourself making it to the gym six days a week, then you are setting yourself up to fail.
Instead set goals that make sense to you. For instance, from that example: You want to work out more. But (if we’re using our SMART method 😉 ), you specifically want to consistently workout 3 days a week for at least 30 minute intervals. You know that with your schedule 3 days is all that you can make for now. And who knows, that expectation could increase after you’ve tried it for some time! That’s the best part of goals: we are constantly evolving them! 🙂
Your goals are TIME BOUND.
The last, but certainly not least, step to goal setting is making sure they’re time bound. In most instances, you are solely holding yourself accountable. This means that you’re the person that gets to decide if you want to let yourself have a cheat day or get to let things slide every now and then. If we allow ourselves to push everything off until tomorrow, we WILL push everything off to tomorrow.
So make sure that you have something to hold yourself accountable (Like a special date that you want to save money by, or lose weight for, or to start seeing a change in your work by). There’s no way to know that you’ve succeeded unless you’ve set parameters and a deadline.
I love to keep track of my goals using a planner. Having everything written down and organized will help you better measure and see the growth in achieving your goals. If you want to focus first on shorter term goals, download my 90 Day Goal Planner. It’s two easy to use printable pages which will help you on your goal setting journey.
Be sure that you take the time to celebrate all of the small steps you make in between achieving your goals. People thrive off of motivation. The more motivation and encouragement you set for yourself, the more likely you’ll be to keep going!