How to (Actually) Achieve Your New Year's Resolutions
It’s time to get “SMART” with 2022....
I'm sure you’ve heard it all before. The “I’m going to read more” or the “I’m going to go to the gym more” for new years resolutions.
However, how many of these goals do you realistically achieve? I'll bet it's not as many as you would like.
Now, there's no feeling bad here, you may want to make great changes and progress in 2022. But perhaps you don't know how.
So, today we are going to look at how to set yourself more appropriate targets and delve into how you can make “SMART” goals.
The “SMART” goal system isn't anything new, it’s been around for many years. But using this system can help you to set better goals in a manner that's actually achievable. It stands for:
S - Specific
M - Measurable
A - Attainable
R - Relevant
T - Timely
Your goals need to be specific. This means creating focus on what you really want to achieve to develop motivation behind that goal.
For example, instead of just saying “I want to work out more” you should think of what areas you want to work on and why that might be. This way you can give your goal more meaning and increase your chances of achieving it.
Think of these questions when creating you goal:
- What do I want to gain from this goal?
- Why is this goal important to me?
- Who is involved in this goal?
- Where is this goal located?
Next your goals need to be measurable so you can see first hand the progress you make, which can help encourage further progress.
For example, instead of setting yourself the goal of reading more, you could think of how many pages, chapters, and/or books you would like to read. This gives you a measure to work towards and creates momentum towards your end goal.
Try to ask yourself:
- How much do I want to do?
- How many of X do I want to do?
- When will I know I have completed my goal?
As well as this, your goals need to be attainable. This means actually being able to achieve the goal within a realistic boundary and not going overboard.
It's usually an estimate based on your experience of something, the more experience you have, the better you can get in a shorter space of time.
For example, If you would like to spend more time with friends this year, allow yourself an appropriate amount of time in the week and/or month to do so. Don’t try to see everyone at once and wear yourself out as then you can’t see anyone!
Take into consideration:
- How realistic is the goal?
- Are there any restraints to how much you can achieve at this moment?
Now we're talking about how much your goals matter to you and whether or not they will have a definitive impact on your year.
You don’t want to waste any time this year so you only want to take on the goals and projects that will have a genuinely positive effect on your growth, be it personal, business, or otherwise.
This step can be hard, but learning more about your position and the environment around you can help in getting to know if your goal is of relevance to you.
You can also consider:
- Is this goal worth your time and effort?
- Is now the right time to proceed with this goal?
- How is this goal affected by the social, political and cultural situation you are in?
Lastly, we are talking about time. This is perhaps the most important step as time is finite and you want to make the most of your 2022.
This means setting a deadline for your goal and breaking down the time in between your start and finish into bite-size chunks of progress.
After all, it's better to achieve one small thing a day over a longer duration than to achieve nothing in a short space of time.
It also helps you to prioritize what matters to you on a daily basis and think in the present instead of worrying about the future or being anxious about the past.
You should think of:
- What can you achieve today that works towards your goal?
- What can you do in 4 weeks from now?
- What can you do in 4 months from now?
On top of all this, it's important to remember that the “SMART” system is just that - a system.
As such it may require you to become more flexible with your personal SMART goals and keep in mind that changing a goal or prioritizing one over another is okay and that you should trust your instincts.