So it’s about that time of year again, running frantically through the mall to find your family gifts, baking a thousand cookies, and cuddling up next to the warm fire are all things we may or may not look forward to. But what about that new year’s resolution?
I took a business introduction course in college the beginning of my sophomore year. I felt like it was more of an academic aid and organizing session versus a traditional learning environment, but none the less it has opened my eyes up to a lot of useful tools, not just for school but for life in general. One week we were discussing goals, and how to really set yourself up for success. I had an eye-rolling moment when the professor was discussing this because of course, everyone acts like we always need to have goals, which I feel like can be pretty stressful at times. Setting ourselves up for failure, making ourselves feel incompetent, and trying to reach for things that just aren’t attainable any time soon. But then my professor introduced something known as SMART goals and my guidelines for goals really changed.
What is a SMART goal? A SMART goal is a goal that is
It is nice to finally have some criteria to work with. Looking back at many of my new years resolutions, I either make them way too broad or way too out of my realistic reach! I remember in the middle of last year saying I will work out everyday for an hour doing 40x lunges, 5 min plank, 40x dumbbell press, 40x bla bla bla. That goal was almost 2 pages long of all the exercises I needed to complete per day to feel competent that I was accomplishing my goal. One day I went into the gym and I was struggling with one of my arm lift exercises and I remember pushing myself in my head “nicole, come on. you can do it.” and you know what I did? I set my weights down and drank some water. When I put the weight down, I surprisingly felt a feeling of relief instead of my normal disappointment. I realized that everyday we are different than the day before. One day I may have more energy and I need to change my workout list to cater to my daily physical needs. And that is where creating a smart goal would’ve really come in handy.
So what does each part of a SMART goal mean?It may be self explanatory, but here are some examples and thoughts if you are struggling to create one!
Specific-avoid making a goal that is broad, you want to make a goal that is specific and has some meat to it! Include the place, what activity it is you will be doing, exceptions and rules.
Measurable– something that has some quantitative data within it, either a date of completion, pounds you want to loose, page numbers, # of something, or minutes of the activity.
Attainable– Something you can physically see a difference in. How will you know when you have completed it? Make sure you can see the difference! If it is health related consider possibly keeping a journal as well as weekly/daily/monthly photos depending on what it is.
Realistic-Something you know is possible but can still be challenging. Making a goal achievable but also something that makes you feel very accomplished when completed is what you should strive for! Something that makes you work hard is okay, just make sure its something you personally can reach and remember to never compare yourself to those around you. YOU are focusing on making the BEST of YOU. Don’t forget that!
Timely-Set a time limit. That will surprisingly aid you in puzzling the rest of your goal together to determine what you can reach within a specific amount of time. If you are doing this for new year’s then I would suggest either 6 months or 1 year depending on how well you feel about sticking to it! But I believe in you, shoot for the year!
My personal goals:
This year I have 3 main goals in mind that I really want to focus on this year….
- To focus on being a healthy eating by avoiding desserts with the exception of birthday’s and fruit tarts for the entire year. This includes sodas.
- To stop worrying about the future, focusing on the present and to stop my procrastination and tackle things when they are presented to me, getting my homework started on the day it is given out, doing laundry when it starts to pile up, pay my rent when they email me, etc.
- To make sure I am getting a good nights sleep by going to bed when I am tired and naturally waking up in the morning.Keeping in mind that 8 hours is my goal.
I hope you guys found this helpful! Please let me know if you have questions or you would like the SMART goal worksheet! It will walk you through with more examples and define each one more in depth.
Have a beautiful day!