It is that time of year when people decide to make this New Year better than their last. What is your New Year’s resolution? Maybe it is to eat healthier, become more active, spend more time with friends and family, or pick up a new hobby. Everyone desires for self-improvement but how many of us actually stick to our New Year's Resolution? According to Forbes magazine, a whopping 8% of people actually achieve their goal. What is it that these 8% do in order to reach their goal?
The key to reaching your goal is to make a plan. The SMART way to make goals is by doing the following.
- S- Be specific in what you want to achieve. A general goal would state you want to eat healthier vs a specific goal would state, I will replace my snacks of chips with fruits, and vegetables.
- M- Make sure your goal is measurable. Do you want to start going to the gym or be active? How many days per week? How many minutes? I will go to the gym 4 times each week is measurable compared to I’m going to start going to the gym.
- A- Is your goal attainable and action oriented? Make sure you are able to work towards this goal. Wanting to go fishing every weekend as a new hobby requires free time and money. If you don’t have the money or free time that would make the goal unattainable. Instead of buying fishing equipment, one could make a goal to go fishing two times a month and rent or borrow equipment from a friend instead.
- R- The goal should be relevant to you. Does your goal interest you? Maybe you want to get involved in volunteering and giving back to the community. If you don’t like animals you would not want to choose the SPCA. If you like sports, you could volunteer as a youth coach.
- T- Is your goal trackable or ‘time bound’? Keep your goal realistic and set aside check in times weekly to record your progress. Is your goal to lose weight? You should state how much weight you want to lose total over what amount of time. Having a goal to lose 20 pounds in two months would be trackable. This would also mean you should try to lose 2.5 pounds per week. To track this you would want to choose the same day and time each week to weigh in.
Just remember that once you reach your New Year’s goal you can always revise it OR make a new goal. Now that you are eating vegetables and fruits for snacks, next you can decrease your soda intake to 3 sodas a week instead of daily. There is no need to wait for next year to make another goal. We should treat every day like a New Years Day and strive to be better each day!