So, 2020 is here and you know what that means? That’s right; it’s time to get started on your New Year’s Resolutions. Maybe you have already made your resolutions or maybe you are still thinking about it. Ultimately, your New Year’s Resolutions are goals. This could be one or more goals that you want to achieve by the end of the year.

Or maybe your goal is to simply stick with your resolutions for the entire year. There are different ways that you can go about stating your goals. Today I am going to talk about a SMART way of stating your New Year’s Resolutions. In this case, SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.

Be Specific — Let’s say that you have resolved to get in better shape this year. But what does that mean? Getting in shape is the general premise of your resolution, but are you trying to lose weight, get stronger, be able to run longer or faster? When making your resolution you should be as specific as possible so that it has structure and a solid foundation to work from. By being specific with your resolution you are laying out a specific way in which you plan to achieve the goal of your New Year’s Resolution.

Make it Measurable - Now that you have a specific goal in mind for your New Year’s Resolution how are you going to be able to know if you are making progress towards it? Part of having a specific goal in mind is being able to measure it. If you are trying to lose weight you can weigh yourself each week to see your progress. You can gauge your strength by seeing how much weight you can lift. You can time how fast you can run a certain distance or measure how far you can run in a certain amount of time. Each of these is a specific measurable facet of the general New Year’s Resolution of getting in shape.

Is it Achievable - You have a specific goal for your resolution, and you have a way to measure your progress? Now before you begin, ask yourself: do I have the means to achieve this New Year’s Resolution? If you are trying to lose weight do you know enough about healthy eating and exercise to achieve this goal in a safe and healthy manner? If you are trying to get stronger, or run faster or farther do you know how to avoid injuring yourself? The internet has a great many resources, but when in doubt, always ask a professional you trust.

Is it Even Relevant - Specific goal: check? Way to measure your progress: check. Knowledge to safely and effectively achieve your goal: check. Now, how is this New Year’s Resolution relevant to you? In order to have the best chance of sticking with your resolution it should be relevant to you and you should perceive a positive take away from it. If you are currently at your ideal weight — does weight loss make sense? Probably not. Choosing a goal that is relevant to your situation should yield a benefit to your long-term goals.

What’s the Timeframe - Yes, most New Year’s Resolutions span the entire year. Yours doesn’t have to though. Your resolution could be something that you can do in half a year. At the end of that time you could set yourself a new resolution or you could simply reevaluate your first resolution and give it a new goal to achieve. Regardless, you want to put a time limit on it. If you vaguely state that in the new year you are going to get healthier, but do not have a definite time limit, you may find yourself at the end of the year still trying to get started. Ultimately, your New Year’s Resolution is your own and it can take as much or little time as you want.

The beginning of a new year is always a good time to reflect on where you are at and what you would like to accomplish in life. To ensure success, start your year off SMART.

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