Many people ring in the New Year by deciding what they are going to do (or not do!) in the upcoming year. We believe that rather than resolutions, the best way to start a New Year is to set goals. Here is a little recipe for you on how to set ‘smart’ goals:
- S – Specific: your goal should be clear and well defined
- M – Measurable: include specific amounts or dates so you can tell if you are successful
- A – Attainable: make sure it is possible to achieve your goal with effort
- R – Relevant: goals should be in line with the direction you want your life to take
- T – Time-bound: setting a time-line gives you something to work toward
For example, let’s say your New Years Resolution is to get in shape. If we apply the SMART rules, our goal may look like this:
“By June 2017, I will be able to run 5km in 30 minutes.”
“By December 2017, I will be exercising a minimum of 30 minutes, 5 times a week”
Other helpful hints:
- Set goals that motivate you – you want it to be something that excites you!
- Write down your goals. The physical act of writing makes your goal more real and tangible.
- Make an action plan – how are you going to achieve your goal?
- Frame your goals in a positive way. Rather than “I need to lose weight”, try “I will make my health a priority this year by ______”
- Celebrate your success!