This past year has been absolutely bonkers! We’ve experienced social injustice, a Presidential election, and an invisible virus that has the ability to shift the entire world as we formally knew it. Bruised, afraid, intensely watching the news, social distancing, and wearing a mask, 2020 was a challenging and heartbreaking year for many.
Typically, the beginning of a new year is the time where we reflect on our past year, re-evaluate what's important to us, and set new goals for the upcoming year. Interestingly enough, most new year's resolutions are broken within the first week of the new year.
It’s now February and if you are one of the many who have struggled to keep your New Year’s Resolution, you are not alone. By March, nearly 80% of people have completely disregarded them entirely. However, now is the perfect time to revisit those resolutions -- it’s never too late. How can you prevent this from happening? Creating SMART goals will have you well on your way to accomplishing your vision for 2021.
What are Smart Goals? SMART is an acronym used to describe a more feasible goal- setting process by defining clear and reachable goals.
Each acronym is connected to a clear, smarter way to actually identify your goals, set a plan of action, and actively go after what you envision for yourself for 2021.
Most people have very similar, yet vague goals at the start of each new year, such as getting in shape or getting out of debt. While these goals are great and could probably better improve your quality of life, these goals in general are vague, and lack a clear and concise definition of what you’re really after.
SMART GOAL BREAKDOWN
Let's take those same examples and apply the SMART goals method.
Goal: Get in shape
S - I will exercise 3 times this week by walking around Centennial Park for an hour.
M - I will measure this goal by checking it off my To-do list, track my steps in my smart watch, etc.
A - Is this goal achievable? Yes - It is achievable, but I will need to preplan before I can commit to my goal - gathering cold-weather necessities (maybe doing laundry), scheduling a specific time this week to commit; having an accountability buddy who will go with me on the walk.
R - Is this relevant? Yes, this goal is relevant because my long-term objective is health and wellness and this falls under the long-term benefits.
T- Is this the right time to complete this goal? Yes, I have time on specific days and can easily block my schedule, etc.
Goal: Get out of debt
S - I will reduce my debt by December 30, 2021 by $1,000
M -I will set up a budget and determine where each month I can reduce $90 a month, including limiting coffee runs and going out to eat.
A - Is this goal achievable? Yes - It is achievable, but I will need to preplan before I can commit to my goal reviewing my monthly budget each month to see where I can realistically cut and save
R - Is this relevant? Yes, this goal is relevant because my long-term objective is financial stability.
T- Is this the right time to complete this goal? Yes, I received a raise and am able to save and cut expenses at the same time and not feel so overwhelmed.
Although 80 percent of those who set New Year’s Resolutions fail at them, setting SMART GOALS can offer clear, attainable goals that can be reviewed and adjusted on a regular and consistent basis. Now that you have the model, get after it and knock those goals down!
Kiyla Holloway, MSW, LSW
Clarity Clinic NWI
Tabaka, M. (N.D.) Most People Fail to Achieve Their New Year's Resolution. Retrieved from: https://www.inc.com/marla-tabaka/why-set-yourself-up-for-failure-ditch-new-years-resolution-do-this-instead.html