The beginning of a new year is often seen as a time to cast your gaze inward and take a hard look at the past year. You may ask yourself questions like: What have I accomplished this year? Am I satisfied with what I have accomplished? These questions inevitably lead to another one that will carry you forth into the next year. That question is: What do I want to accomplish next year? The goals that are produced by this line of questioning are often called “New Year’s Resolutions.” Some of the most common New Year’s resolutions revolve around health and fitness goals and are notorious for only being implemented for a couple of weeks. But what if there was a way to make those resolutions stick?
One way to make resolutions stick before the new year even begins is by setting SMART goals. SMART is an acronym that stands for “specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely.” When heading into a new year, it is common to have big goals such as “This year, I want to lose weight.” However, when formulating a SMART goal, it is crucial to consider the practical steps to achieve that goal.
The “S” in SMART stands for specific. Let us take wanting to lose weight, for example. The goal of losing weight is broad, and when it is important to set specific goals within that larger goal. Losing weight is a big goal that often takes a multifaceted approach to accomplish. So, instead of setting the goal of just losing weight, you can set the goal of exercising every day.
Measurable, Achievable, and Realistic
Next, a SMART goal must be measurable. To continue with the goal of exercising every day, this can be made measurable by setting a certain number of steps you would like to take every day. Now, the goal can become to take 15,000 steps every day, which a phone pedometer on a smartphone or a smartwatch can measure. When setting a measurable goal, it is important to ensure that the goal is both achievable and realistic for your routine and lifestyle. For example, working a desk job could make it challenging to spend multiple hours at the gym or out on walks or runs.
After you have made sure that your goal is specific, measurable, achievable, and realistic, the next step is to set a timeline for your goal. Having a timeline to accomplish a goal can be a huge motivating factor when it comes to achieving your goal. An example of a timely goal using the exercise goal would be “My goal is to walk 15,000 steps every day for the next year.”
In conclusion, SMART goals are a practical tool to make sure that goals are created in a way that sets one up for success. Implementing a SMART goal can make those New Year’s resolutions stick, especially goals that revolve around health and fitness.