The SMARTer Way to Make New Year's Resolutions
Each year, millions of people vow to better themselves in the new year—whether it's setting new fitness goals, taming the bulge, quitting smoking, or living a stress-free life. Unfortunately, while we all mean well, 88% of all new year resolutions end in failure. If you are amongst the millions of those falling into this category, it's time to think twice, plan better, and make smarter goals for yourself.
Why do 88% of all resolutions end in failure? Most people start the year with aspirations that aren't necessarily realistic. Losing weight, quitting smoking and living a stress-free life all at the same time is not a realistic goal for most. Even those goals individually can be very difficult to attain. The best way to ensure that you are able to meet the goals you set for yourself is to make them SMART.
So, what are SMART goals? SMART goals are goals that are:
S- Specific and Significant
When you set a goal that is very vague, it is easy to lose sight of the final destination. Setting specific and significant goals allow you to have a clear view of the finish line.
M- Measurable and Meaningful
Goals that are measurable and meaningful to your life are much easier to accomplish than those that don't have a visible payoff. For example, saying I want to lose weight does not set a measurable goal, but saying "I want to lose 5 pounds" is a very clear goal you can measure day by day.
A- Attainable and Action-Oriented
It is okay to set your initial goals low. It is easier to make a new goal after you've accomplished your first than it is to not meet your goal at all.
R- Relevant and Rewarding
What's the point of setting a goal if not to reward yourself afterwards? Make sure that your goals are those that will add value to your life once you've accomplished them. When you've met your goals you will feel proud of yourself, giving you momentum to create and follow through with new goals.
T- Time Based and Trackable
Like the aforementioned example of losing weight as a new year's resolution, you will set yourself up for success if you have an end date you are able to look forward to.
5 Steps to Creating SMART goals
1. Remain Focused
Don't try to tackle all of your resolutions at once. Start with one for the month that is easy to accomplish.
2. Plan Ahead
Make a detailed plan, listing all of the steps necessary to achieve your goals.
3. Get Organized
Leave reminders or sticky notes around your house to help you remember your goals.
4. Be Good to Yourself
Reward yourself when you've accomplished the first goal on your list.
5. Rinse and Repeat
Repeat the above steps as you move on to your next monthly goal.
Remember, smaller resolutions equal higher success. To help you stick to your goals in the new year, download our SMART New Year's Resolutions infographic. Here's to better health and prosperity!