Are Your Resolutions SMART?

New Years Resolutions are usually not SMART. If you’ve read anything about goals at all, you probably have seen that they should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time Sensitive.

SMART-GoalsLook at a list of common New Years Resolutions, and you’ll see something like this:

  • Exercise more
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Quit smoking


Nope, they just aren’t SMART. They are not worded in a way that is specific and measurable. They provide no guidance, no concrete plan of action. It’s no wonder we so frequently fail to keep them! So how do you turn a vague resolution into a SMART goal?

Here’s an example of a formula to set a SMART goal for losing weight from the Daily PlanIt eBook, “Get Goaling.”

I will [do what] lose weight [how much] ____ lbs by doing [what] aerobic exercise [when] every morning [for how long] 30 minutes [measured by] target heart rate [by when] by target date of two months from today.

You can use this formula to make any goal SMARTer. Some goals are more abstract and downright hard to measure. Usually a rating scale can help.ratingscale

Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions from

smokefree.govIf your goal is to quit smoking, check out, which is packed full of detailed helpfulness, including apps and a texting service. It helps you with specific steps you need to take to accomplish the goal, like:

  • Choose a method to quit smoking
  • Buy any tools (nicotine patches, electronic cigarettes) you choose
  • Get rid of all cigarettes
  • Make a list of reasons you want to quit smoking
  • Avoid environments that will lead to cravings
  • Distract yourself w/other activities

Look for more ideas for Goal Plans and use the formula for making goals SMART from the Daily PlanIt eBook, you can be on your way to “Get Goaling.”


Many resolutions involve changing or establishing habits. Get habit trackers and learn strategies for habits at Make Good Habits Easy, and Bad Habits Hard.

Setting Resolutions is often a part of an Annual Review.

Learn more:

I seek to create order from the chaos of complex information. Join me at the Daily PlanIt to gain insights, inspiration, and information to increase skills for a better life. I unlock the power of teaching reading with phonics in the pursuit of literacy at In my spare time I explore books and movies, often choosing titles available on both screen and page.

Posted in goals
6 comments on “Are Your Resolutions SMART?
  1. […] If you choose the word “health” for the physical area, clearly that value can be increased by following a healthy diet and increasing the amount of exercise you get. Make your goals SMART. […]

  2. […] with posts on how to choose goals, and make goals SMART. Learn more with the Daily PlanIt eBook, “Get […]

  3. […] Goals must be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, rewarded, and time bound.) […]

  4. […] bits of information and quotes from your book in posts to spark interest. There’s several free tools to create […]

  5. […] Resolutions are a declaration of our firm decision to do or not to do something. A typical resolution is not very SMART. […]

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