Do you know where you want to go, but aren't quite sure how to get there? Are you excited for all of the new changes you want to make in your life, but not quite confident in your ability to stick to the changes you plan on making? Simplify the process by breaking down your long-term goals into easy-to-achieve short-term SMART Goals.
It can be intimidating to look at a big goal, and try to figure out where to get started. Breaking it down into smaller steps makes it easier to handle and keeps it within reach. New Years Resolutions can be well intentioned, but they tend to be pretty daunting. Most of them end up being long-term goals, that can be broken down into smaller steps. Using the SMART Goals template is a great way to create those smaller steps, that eventually help you to accomplish your long-term goals.
Specific goals are direct and detailed. Measurable goals allow you to track your progress, and know for sure when you've completed them. Achievable/attainable goals are realistic, which means that you currently have the skills and resources necessary to complete them. *If you do not have the skills and resources yet, then you need to break that goal down into even smaller SMART Goals. Realistic/relevant goals align with your long-term goals and help you get one step closer to accomplishing them. Timely/time based goals have a deadline that you set for yourself, in order to hold yourself accountable.
Here are some tips for making your long-term goals and New Years Resolutions stick:
1. Create SMART Goals
Write out your SMART Goals, and keep them posted somewhere that you will see them. When creating your SMART Goals, ask yourself the following questions:
S - What will the goal accomplish? How will it be accomplished? And why will it be accomplished?
M - How will you measure whether or not the goal has been accomplished?
A - Is it possible? Have others done it successfully? Will attempting to meet the goal challenge you without defeating you? Is it too difficult or not difficult enough?
R - What is the reason, purpose, and relevance of you accomplishing this goal? Does it get you closer to achieving your long-term goals?
T - What is the completion date and does that date create a practical sense of urgency? Are you giving yourself too much or too little time to accomplish it?
2. Utilize/create a support system
While you create SMART Goals for yourself, it's important to have a support system in place. Share your current goal with friends or family, so that they can support and encourage you as you work to complete it. Be sure to share your deadlines with them, so that they can check in with you, creating additional accountability, and helping you stay on track. Don't forget to let them know when you have accomplished your SMART Goals, so that they can celebrate with you!
3. Celebrate your accomplishments
It's also important to celebrate your achievements, no matter how small! The best way to stick to something new is to feel like you are successful at it. Celebrating the completion of each SMART Goal can give you a sense of accomplishment, and the encouragement to keep on working towards your long-term goals. These milestones are how you are going to make that long-term goal a reality. The celebration doesn't have to be anything big, just do something nice for yourself, or give yourself some kind of reward for a job well done. Decide on the reward when you are creating your SMART Goal, that way you have an additional incentive to complete it.
Good luck creating your goals for this new year. Remember to keep them small and manageable. And make sure that they're SMART! Celebrate your small wins, rely on the support of friends and family, and keep working towards your long-term goals. We know that you will accomplish great things in 2020!