• Dr. Laura Frame

Sticking to Your New Year’s Goals


The New Year is upon us and along with it linger our New Year’s resolutions. Have you already considered discarding your goals this year due to lack of progress? Maybe you haven’t even set any yet because they haven’t worked in the past. It is not too late to set a few solid New Year’s resolutions for this year. Sticking to your goals simply requires some fine-tuning.

Most people set goals for the New Year that are health-related, either seeking to improve their physical well-being by improving their eating habits or increasing their exercise habits. Others may be in search of improving their emotional health. By addressing unresolved emotional concerns or improving their preventative mental health practices. If you want to be firm in your resolve, then have a look at your goals and determine whether or not they are possible.

Refining New Year’s resolutions is not a new topic. Dr. Meredith Brinster previously posted a blog about exercising self-compassion. Dr. Mike Brooks has also posted many related blogs including a couple with specific tips for weight loss hacks, and overcoming inertia using the 5-minute rule.

Setting S.M.A.R.T. Goals

One acronym that helps you decide whether or not your goals are actionable goals is S.M.A.R.T. It stands for the following:

  • Specific – The more detailed you describe your goal, the better. Consider exactly what you want to achieve and then work out the details (e.g., what, when, how, and why).

  • Measurable – Identify exactly how you know when you have reached your goal. What you will see, hear, and feel.

  • Achievable – Is your goal reasonably calculated given your current obligations and life circumstances? Consider what you need in order to reach the goal. If the goal is impossible to attain, then you need to reevaluate and choose something else.

  • Relevant – How motivated are you to achieve the goal? Ask yourself if the goal is worthwhile and whether or not it is the right goal for you.

  • Time-Bound – it Is important to set a realistic time frame for accomplishing your goal. Setting up smaller goals will help you determine if you are on-track for meeting your ultimate goal.

Accountability

Once you have devised your SMART goal, the last step is holding yourself accountable. Share your goal with someone else. If others know about your goal, then you will have someone else checking in to see whether or not you have made progress. Your accountability partners will be able to offer you encouragement and you will be more motivated to not disappoint them.

The Takeaway

Now you know how to develop goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound. Take some time to write down your new goals and develop your plan for checking on your progress. If you follow these steps, then you will have more success this year sticking to your goals and will experience a sense of accomplishment.

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