It’s the New Year, which means it’s time for reflection on all of your successes of 2018 (don’t forget this part!) and setting resolutions for 2019.
If you’ve struggled to succeed with New Year’s Resolutions in the past, it could be because they aren’t SMART (no, that’s not an attack on your intelligence).
SMART is a goal setting methodology I recommend using to set yourself up for success heading in to 2019.
And if you can spell the word SMART, you’ll be able to remember exactly how to do it. It’s a simple 5 step process that uses each letter in the word.
In order to increase your chances of following through with this year’s resolutions, your goals should be Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.
Make sure your resolution is specific. Instead of saying, “I want to lose weight in 2019,” define how much weight you want to lose. Instead of saying, “I want to save more money in 2019,” determine just how much money you want to save.
In order to determine whether or not your resolution is successful, it must be measurable. In the examples given above, you would use a scale to measure your weight or the amount in your bank account on the first of each month to measure saving money. If you want to learn a new skill or hobby, define how much time you’ll spend doing it (For ex: 1 hour/week) and plan to keep track along the way!
Attainable and Realistic:
This is where a lot of people veer way off track – make sure your goals are attainable and realistic. Heck, if anything, make your goal underwhelming.
Just think how much more likely you are to start towards that goal if it is “I want to lose 5 lbs,” rather than “I want to lose 50 lbs.” 50 lbs may seem like a mountain that you could never envision climbing (and thus never take the first step), but 5 lbs is realistic enough that you can start to envision success before you start. Who knows, once you hit the first, realistic goal, you may be having so much fun that you strive for more.
Last, but not least, make your goals timely. Define your timeline as much as possible. If you’re hoping to save an extra $5,000 by the end of the year, what benchmarks can you set up along the way? Will you try to save $416.67/month or be able to save more some months than others? Map out your path, so you can change direction if you veer off course throughout the year!
Now that you know what makes a ‘SMART’ resolution, let’s take a look at a few examples:
“In 2019, I will go on two trips to another country. One will be in the summer and the other will be in the winter. I will plan both of these trips and reserve all transportation and lodging by March 31, 2019.”
Grow Your Business:
“By the end of 2019, my businesses revenue will be 20% greater than 2018 totals. In order to reach this goal, I will hire 1 new employee, dedicate 20% more to my marketing budget, and call 3 prospective clients/day. I will track monthly revenue on the 5th of each month to make sure I am on track.
“I will lose 1 lb/week from January 2019 – June 2019 by working out with my personal trainer on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays and following my dietitian’s meal plan. I will weigh in every Sunday morning at 9:00 AM to track progress.”
Saving money for retirement:
“I will save $1000/month for retirement in 2019 by following the budget I put together with my financial advisor.. On the 1st of each month, I will review my income and expenses for the previous month to ensure I am on track to meet this goal.”
What do you think? Have you already set your resolutions?
Can you refine the resolution to set yourself up for success in 2019 by making it SMART?
Let me know how you do by commenting below or emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Author
Evan Lewis is a nationwide leader in Neuro Therapy and founded the Baltimore area's only specialist Neuro Therapy facility.
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