- It is hard to believe that 2014 is already here. With a new year just beginning, many people are thinking about self-improvement and the term “New Year Resolution” has been a popular topic of conversation. Everyone has high hopes of… getting fit, losing weight, eating better, spending more time with family etc. Although motivation is high right now, enthusiasm tends to dwindle as the month and year continues. The question is, how do we stay motivated to successfully accomplish our New Year’s Resolutions? One way to succeed is by creating SMART goals. We use these types of goals in the physiotherapy setting to help people succeed in rehabilitation. However, the same principles can be applied to any goal you have and can help you succeed with your New Year resolution.
A “SMART” goal is:
Specific: Goals should be simplistically written and clearly state exactly what you want to achieve (who, what, where, when, which, why, how). You are more likely to accomplish a specific goal than a general one.
Example of a general goal: Get fit.
Example of a specific goal: Join a gym and work out 3 days a week.
Measurable: Goals should be measurable so that you can evaluate when the goal has been met. To determine if your goal is measurable ask questions such as: how much, how many and how will I know when it is accomplished?
Example of a non measurable goal: Get healthy.
Example of a measurable goal: Become more healthy as measured by lowering my blood pressure to a healthy range (120/80 mmHg).
Achievable: Goals should challenge you but be achievable. This requires you to reflect on the strengths, weaknesses and resources that you possess that will enable you to reach your goal.
Realistic: Goals must represent an objective that you are both able and willing to work towards.
Time-Bound: Goals should be grounded within a time frame. This will provide a sense of urgency to help you start working towards your goal.
Example of a goal that is not time-bound: Learn something new.
Example of a time-bound goal: Take a cake decorating class within the next 3 months.
Reflect on your New Year Resolutions. Are they SMART? If not, revise them so that they are. Write your goals down and tell someone to help keep you accountable. We wish you all the best in this New Year and hope these principles will help you succeed with all of your New Year Resolutions.