It’s the end of the year and time for New Year’s Resolutions.
I know a lot of people do not make New Year’s Resolutions. And I am definitely not one of those people. I love goals! I am one of those freaky weird people who enjoys challenging herself constantly.
That’s not say that I haven’t let many goals slip by the wayside and be forgotten a few months into the year.
And that’s why I always at least try to make SMART goals.
What are SMART goals?
Always start with specific goals.
A lot of New Year’s Resolutions are generic:
“I want to lose weight this year.”
“I want to eat better this year.”
“I want to focus more on my family this year.”
While these are great – they are not specific. Losing weight can be anything from losing 0.5 pounds by December 1st, 2015 to losing 70 pounds by December 1st, 2015. Eating better can mean overhauling your diet to eliminate all added sugars, eating lean protein and veggies at every meal, or it can mean having an apple a day.
With these goals – it’s hard to tell if you actually achieved them or not. And it leaves too much wiggle room to really see an improvement over the year.
Try making specific goals like:
“I want to lose 20 pounds by the end of the year.”
“I want to decrease my sugar and caffeine intake to 1 treat and 1 soda a week, and increase my vegetable intake by getting 3 servings every day.”
“I want to set aside 2 hours every week to devote to family time.”
That way, you know exactly what you want to accomplish.
Make your goals measurable.
Having specific criteria helps you not only know what you need to do to accomplish your goal, but let’s you know once you’ve achieved what you wanted to achieve.
Ask yourself how much? how many? by what time? If you can answer these questions about your goals, then they are measurable.
Not measurable: “I want to lose weight by June.”
Measurable: “I want to lose 15 pounds by June.”
Your goals need to be attainable.
This means you need to have the framework to do them, and the time to accomplish them.
If your goal is to become fluent in Spanish, that is not going to happen in a month. Learning a new language takes a lot of time – so make sure you give yourself that.
Learning Spanish also requires a lot of resources. Find classes, books, online classes and podcasts that can help you on your journey and figure out which one is right for you. Then you have a path to learning your new language – so it becomes attainable. You are not going to become fluent in Spanish without any resources!
Your goals also need to be realistic.
Yes, you are not going to be able to develop X-ray vision this year, so it’s good not to set that as one of your goals. But realistic really means something that you want to do and are able to work to do. It can still be a high goal that will take a lot of work and time to obtain, but it needs to be something you are willing and capable of reaching.
For instance, if you have bad knees and need to do low impact exercises, a goal of running a marathon is not realistic.
And finely, your goal should be timely.
There needs to be a set date on when you would like to reach your goal. This may be in a few months or in a few years, depending on the scope of your goal.
When thinking about a timeframe, think of what’s realistic for you. If your goal is to write a novel, but you have a full-time job, 3 kids and a home to care for, then you probably will need more time than 1 month to devote to your novel. Give yourself enough time to reach your goal with a plan that will fit into your current lifestyle.
So for 2015, let’s all make SMART goals!
Do you make New Years Resolutions? If so, what are your goals for 2015?
Like the Fit 4 Me Facebook page for daily exercise, nutrition and motivational tips!