If you want to make a resolution in the New Year and actually stick to it, consider setting a “SMART” goal—one that is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely.
- S—Be specific. Specific resolutions make them more concrete and exciting.
- M—Make your goal measurable. Determine benchmarks against which you can determine progress. Without measurable benchmarks, you can’t gauge progress and may not feel motivated to continue.
- A—Make your goal attainable. Choose resolutions that are important to you and actually inspire you to take action.
- R—Be You must be willing and able to work toward your concrete goal. Set yourself up for success with a resolution that you are realistically able to achieve.
- T—Be timely. Identify a solid (and reasonable) start and finish date. Without a defined timeline, you may find it hard to accomplish your goal.
Examples of S.M.A.R.T New Year’s Resolutions
If you’re still confused on what a S.M.A.R.T goal looks like, check out the following three examples. In each example, a not-so-great goal will be listed first, and a S.M.A.R.T version of that same goal will be listed second.
- Fitness-related goal
- I will lose weight this year.
- I will lose 15 pounds by July by going to the gym at least three times each week.
- Diet-related goal
- I will eat healthier this year.
- I will eat a healthier, well-balanced diet this year by incorporating two new fruits and vegetables into my diet each week, I will stop drinking soda.
- Financial-related goal
- I will save money this year.
- I will put an extra $25 each week into my savings account to save at least $800 before December.
Tips for Success
In addition to developing a S.M.A.R.T goal(s), consider the following tips for success to further the chances of achieving your goal(s):
- Write down your goal(s) in positive terms only.
- Post your goal(s) in a prominent place so that you can stay focused.
- Make sure that the goals are your own.
- Be flexible and open-minded if your situation or circumstances change and force you to change your goal(s).
Through implementing the above tips, you can increase the odds that you will be one of the estimated 8 percent of adults who actually achieve their New Year’s resolution in 2017.