Make This Year Different

A new year is upon us and you may have heard the similar phrase of “New Year. New Me”. The start of another year can welcome a fresh start for creating new routines, establishing new goals, or refining previous goals that we put an extended pause on. Regardless of where you find yourself on this journey, following through on your goals is important. However, it can be challenging as about a third of those who make New Year Resolutions stop after the first month. We can all be better at seeing our goals through to completion and it begins with how we view our goals. A simple shift from just listing our goals to creating S.M.A.R.T. goals can help us follow through and stick with our new routine. 

Specific: The goal is very clear. Ask yourself the following, “What do I wish to accomplish?”, “When do I want to have this completed?”, and the more important one, “Why is this goal important to me?”.

Measurable: List three things you will use to measure or track if you’re on pace for your goal. For example, if your goal is to aggressively pay down credit card debt, you can decide to pay $300 per paycheck towards the debt. 

Attainable: While it’s important for our goals to be specific, tailoring them to what’s realistic to us is key. Whatever you decide to improve on this year, your goal(s) should be reasonably challenging for you. Do a quick inventory by seeing what resources you currently have and which one’s you will need to help you be successful on this journey. 

Realistic: Check in with yourself and be honest on if you can commit to the goal you have set up. It’s okay if your goal(s) scare you. Remember, strive for goals that challenge you. But, if you know that waking up every morning at 5:30am to go for a 6:00am run is something you cannot commit to, consider changing the goal to go for a 6:00am run three days a week. 

Time sensitive: Setting a timeframe for our goal(s) can increase our motivation to see them through to completion.

As you’re writing down your S.M.A.R.T. goals, remember that success is a continuous journey and that success looks different for all of us. On average, it takes about 21 days to establish a new routine, so be sure to give yourself an extra dose of compassion if you find yourself being inconsistent in the beginning. You are capable of achieving your goals. Let’s strive to make this year different. 

Source:

Rutledge, T. (2019). Beyond SMART: An Evidence Based Formula for Goal Setting. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-healthy-journey/201910/beyond-smart-evidence-based-formula-goal-setting#comments_bottom

Contributed by: Erica Anderson, MS

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