Instead Of A Resolution, Set A Goal – A SMART One!
Updated: Feb 16, 2020
The new year is a time when many of us look back and reflect on the past while also having a hopeful eye towards the future and everything that the new year may bring. For some that hopefulness may involve making resolutions which are often made wistfully and aren’t necessarily concrete. Now speaking as someone who has made resolutions in the past (with varying degrees of success) in the beginning of 2019, I decided that instead of making a resolution that I would promptly forget about, I’m was going to set a goal for myself. Now just any old ordinary run of the mill goal wouldn't do, the goal that I made had to have two very important parts – it had to be written down and it had to be SMART.
What is a SMART goal?
For me, the act of putting pencil or pen to paper and writing something down makes it much more real and makes it more likely that I’ll follow through on it instead of forgetting about it, so writing my goal down was an absolute must. Vague goals (even if they’re written down) are more like resolutions than goals and more often then not, forgotten about. Hence why my goal needed to be SMART. It's important to make time to make sure that your goals are SMART. In case you’re wondering what makes a goal SMART, it’s this:
In my case, 2019 has been the year that I've planned to meditate regularly as part of my self-care. So instead of making a resolution to meditate more, I made a SMART goal that looks like this: “I will meditate each day for 10 minutes as soon as I get up in the morning for the next 12 months.”
This goal is Specific – it says exactly what I will do and when I will do it, Measurable – I can see how successful I am at meeting this goal by marking off each day that I do meditate on a calendar, Achievable – 10 minutes of meditation is not an overwhelming amount of time, Relevant – meditating fits in with my goal of increasing my self-care practice and doing it as soon as I get up, makes it more likely to happen, and Timebound – I am committing myself to this goal for the rest of the year, by which time it should become an ingrained habit.
Why SMART Goals?
There have been countless studies on goals and goal setting. Time and time again, it has been shown that in the world of goal setting, a SMART goal is like having a goal on steroids. By going through the steps of transforming your traditional goal into a SMART one, you're building your momentum and creating something actionable. The more specific the goal is, the easier it will be for you to do what's required. Because it's measurable, you'll be able to hold yourself accountable as you'll know in a glance the progress that is (or isn't) being made. Having relevance and the ability to achieve your goal can give you the motivation to do exactly that. Likewise, being timebound (cue the ticking clock) can spur you on to greater heights.
Is there something that you were thinking of making a resolution about as we approach 2020? Consider making it a SMART goal instead. Having a actionable goal rather than a vague resolution gives you a great chance of achieving that goal.
I'd love to hear about your SMART goals - what they are and how you're doing with achieving them. Let me know in the comments section.
Cassandra Martin-Himmons is a trainer, wellness coach and consultant who believes in empowering her clients and providing the tools that they need to make positive changes in their lives to manage their stress and increase their self-care. In her spare time, she enjoys papercrafting, volunteering and travel. Connect with her on Instagram or Linked/In