One of the best ways to help you achieve your goals for the new year is the SMART goal-setting method.
SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. When you structure your goals this way, you are much more likely to achieve them than if you simply create goals without structure.
Notice I’m using the term goals, not New Year’s Resolutions. Why? First, because I don’t believe that you have to wait until the start of a new year to set goals to better your life.
And secondly, resolutions have a habit of falling by the wayside, often before the new year is even a few weeks old. So rather than focus on resolutions, let’s look at ways to set goals that will help you achieve the results you really want for your life.
Be sure to read all the way to the end of this post where I’ll share a helpful FREE tool to help you set SMART goals for the new year!
5 Reasons to Set SMART Goals For the New Year
Setting short-term and long-term goals for yourself is a key to success. If there are things that you want to achieve or ways that you want to grow, setting small goals as stepping stones is an important part of getting there.
Most goals won’t be achieved overnight, so you should acknowledge from the start that change takes time and you have to be committed to the process.
Here’s what you should know in order to set SMART goals:
1. SMART goals are specific.
This means that your goal should be numbers based, or have a specific goal in mind. To say “I want to walk my dog more” is too vague.
A SMART goal might be “I want to walk my dog 3 times per week” or “I want to take my dog to the dog park once per week“. Both are very specific goals without any vague phrasing left open to interpretation.
A few thoughts about specific goals:
- The more specific your goals are, the clearer it will be when you finally achieve them;
- Breaking your large goals into smaller short-term goals, with each smaller goal phrased just as specifically as the overall goal, provides milestones that help you easily see your progress.
2. SMART goals are measurable.
This is another reason why SMART goals are numbers based. To know whether or not you achieved your goal, you must be able to measure your progress.
SMART goals are goals that you can track and measure that have a clear end or point of attainment, as I illustrated above. Without creating a measurable goal, how will you know when you reach it?
3. SMART goals are attainable.
SMART goals are goals that you can actually achieve. They’re not unrealistic and unlikely like “lose 100 pounds in 90 days” because if there’s no way to actually achieve the goal, why bother to set it?
SMART goals are goals that you are physically and mentally capable of achieving.
4. SMART goals are realistic.
SMART goals are not only attainable, but they are realistically attainable. They are a combination of a specific achievement that you can reach and a time frame in which you can realistically get there.
For that reason, a SMART goal would be “lose 10 pounds in 90 days” for a healthy weight loss of 3 to 4 pounds per month, rather than the 100 pound example I gave above.
5. SMART goals are timely.
SMART goals have time frames, and realistic ones at that. When you put a realistic time frame on your goal, it gives you something to work toward. To simply “lose 10 pounds” without a time frame lacks motivation and direction.
On the contrary, “lose 10 pounds by my birthday” has a realistic time frame that gives you something to work for and a date for completion.
As you can see, when you set goals using this method, it will be easier to stay on track and mark your progress as you work toward the things you want in life.
How about a freebie?
To help you on your goal setting journey, I’ve got a super helpful resource for you. This SMART Goal Setting Worksheet will help you flesh out your goals and dreams and plan for them in a way that makes the easily achievable.
Simply click here to grab your free worksheet now. Just download and save it to your computer, and then print it out for every goal you’re setting for the new year!
Remember, this free resource is for your personal use only and should not be shared or redistributed in any way.
Do you set SMART Goals?
I’d love to hear about your experience in a comment below, or stop by my private Facebook group for dog moms to join in the conversation there!
Also, be sure to check out this article about New Year’s Resolutions for Dog Moms!