How To Set SMART Realistic Goals For The New Year
Do you Stick to your Resolutions?
Every New Year we start off with a long list of resolutions we hope to accomplish. Yet 90% of us will fail to realise those goals because we fail to set SMART goals. A SMART goal is one that is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. Research shows that specific and challenging goals lead to better performance. Read on if you want to learn how to create realistic SMART goals to help you attain a better lifestyle, and actually achieve your goals this year.
Grab a notepad and pen. Start by making general goals that you can later expand upon, like “I want to lose weight, be healthier, drink more water, exercise regularly, pay off debts, grow my business” etc.
Pick a general goal, and start by making it more Specific. Instead of saying “I want to lose weight”, a specific goal would be: “I want to lose 8 kilos”.
In order to know whether you’ve succeeded or not, the goal has to be Measurable. That would be “I want to lose 2 kilos per month”. That way you can measure your success as you go along, and amend your goal if you need to.
This goes without saying, really, but your goals have to be Attainable. Baby steps, or setting smaller goals within the bigger goal are a great way to make sure your goal is achievable. Cutting out half the portions of wheat and sugar you would normally consume per day is a great start. Adding more greens to your diet, and choosing salads instead of fried sides, another small goal. 15 minutes of Yoga every day at 9 pm at home can make you feel better in a multitude of ways. So far, our SMART goal looks like this: “I want to lose 2 kilos per month by cutting half my wheat and sugar intake, incorporating more greens in my diet, and doing 15 minutes of yoga every day.”
Your goals have to be Realistic. If you set an unrealistic, extremely difficult goal like “Lose 20 kilos by March” you will only be setting yourself up for disappointment and discouragement when things don’t go as you hoped. A huge motivator to keep going comes from achieving smaller goals within the larger goal.
The final characteristic of SMART goals is that they must be Timely. When is the start date of your goal? When do you plan to finish? Set your start date, and within 4 months you should be set to lose those 8 kilos. Evaluate your progress along the way to make sure you’re staying on track. Slow and steady wins the race, as the old saying goes. 2 kilos per month breaks down to half a kilo per week. That sounds pretty reasonable given the small changes in lifestyle we are going to be implementing.
New Years Resolution which is 90% likely to fail:
“I want to lose weight.”
SMART New Years Resolution (Goal):
“I want to lose 2 kilos per month by cutting half my wheat and sugar intake, incorporating more greens in my diet, and doing 15 minutes of yoga every day. This should be accomplished by the 10th of April, giving me 4 months.”
Now we have shared the tools, try this really simple exercise and see how you do. This helps to get what you want to achieve in your head in a realistic way so that you can succeed! And in turn, be inspired to set new goals. This can be done in all areas of life, finance, social life, diet, exercise.
Don’t forget to dream!
Whilst goal setting is a really positive thing to do to so is dreaming or “creating miracles”. Goal setting can also create a more tunnel vision so by dreaming and thinking of a few miracles for the new year this keeps you open to possibility and chance, which makes life all the more exciting!
Each year we have happiness retreats to also help work out your goals for the year ahead. We always tie in intention and goal setting into our new year’s retreats which we run every year so have a look at our calendar page to see what we are up to for the coming year.