January 17, 2013 | Barb Carr

Are Your New Year’s Resolutions S.M.A.R.T. Enough?

Did you make some New Year’s resolutions? If you did, you’re among the 40%-50% of people that make resolutions each year. Did you know that just making a resolution increases your chances of changing?

Just Do It

Studies show that you’re 46% more likely to create lasting change in your habits when you make a resolution, rather than just keep an abstract goal in the back of your mind.


Making Resolutions

What kind of resolutions should you set? You’ve probably heard of SMART goals in every professional development training you’ve had, and you’ve used the SMARTER plan for your corrective actions. Let’s apply SMART to our New Year’s resolutions, too, whether personal or professional.

Your Goals Must Be SMART:

Specific – What do you want to do? Make it as specific as possible, replacing “Eat healthier” with “Eat a salad once a day.”

Measurable – It’s all in the numbers: Pounds, inches, workouts, dollars, meals, pages, and projects are all items you can count. Put a number on it: Not “Lose weight” but “Lose 10 pounds by Easter.”

Attainable – Yes, your goal should be challenging, but you’re more likely to accomplish it if it’s realistic. Don’t say “I’ll work out every day” unless you really can. “Work out twice a week” is more realistic, and you can always set another, loftier goal when you meet your first one.

Relevant – Is this the right time in your life to attempt this goal? Maybe one of your life goals is to start your own business, but right now you have small children and you spend a lot of time with your family. That’s okay – plan it for a more appropriate time in the future.

Does it fit with your core values? We discussed how to determine your core values in this blog post. Take 10 minutes to do this exercise, and make sure your resolution fits your values. For example, if Daring is one of your core values, then “Go skydiving once this year” is a fantastic goal. However, if Calmness is a value, then you may want to rethink.

Time Bound – Give yourself a deadline, and stick to it. If your goal is “Write 100 pages of my book by August 1” check in once a month, or even once a week, to make sure you’re on track.

What are your resolutions this year?

What are some tips and tricks you use to keep yourself on track with your goals?

Please share in the comments section below:

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