As another new year begins, it is time to set goals to help ensure this year will be the best one yet. Unfortunately, many people typically stick to their goals for just a few weeks before letting them fall to the wayside. Make sure you stick to and achieve your goals this year by making them S.M.A.R.T. goals.
Specific: Clearly define your goal by being very specific about what it is you want to achieve. For example, instead of setting the goal, "I want to be healthier." be more specific about the changes you'd like to make, "I am going to exercise 5 days a week." or "I want to shave 2 minutes of my best 5k time."
Meaningful: Make sure your goals have a meaning behind them. Why do you want this? How will it improve your life? When you put meaning behind a goal you are more likely to stick with it. Example, "Regular exercise helps me feel calmer, more energetic, and healthier."
Action-Oriented: What actions can you take to achieve your goals? Setting daily or weekly tasks to complete to reach your goals will help you track progress toward reaching your goal. Example, "I will do full body strength workouts 3 times per week and 30-45 minutes of cardio 4 days a week." or "I will keep track of all of my workout specifics to track my progress."
Realistic: Ask yourself, "Is this a realistic goal? Is this something I have the ability and/or resources to achieve?" A goal should be challenging, but not unattainable. Be sure to set yourself up for success.
Timely: Set a deadline for your goals so you have a target to work toward. Leaving goals open-ended gives you the chance to keep putting tasks off and procrastinating on reaching your goals. "I will improve my race time for the Memorial Day 5k." or "I will lose 5 pounds by Valentine's Day."
Use these steps to set your goals and make yourself successful in the new year!