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.
- 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.
Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions from Nielson.com.
If your goal is to quit smoking, check out smokefree.gov, 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
Many resolutions involve establishing habits, so learn strategies at Make Good Habits Easy, and Bad Habits Hard.