With 2023 officially underway, it feels like resolutions and goals are on everyone’s mind. But if you haven’t set your goals yet—or you’re having trouble sticking to them—don’t stress. Stick to SMART goals and invest in yourself along the way and you’ll be amazed at what you can achieve.
We’ve all heard it before: I want to get healthier this year. But what does that mean? Being more active? Eating more fruits and veggies? Meditating more and focusing on self-care? And how do you know when you’ve become healthier?
Enter SMART goals.
SMART is a goal-setting acronym that stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound. Using the SMART goal setting method, you not only set your goal but break down the steps and time frame to achieve it. When goals are too broad or general it can feel overwhelming and daunting to even begin. Being specific allows you to focus your efforts and make more progress. Consider investing in a new journal or notebook (and add some coloured pens and highlighters) to write out what it is you want to achieve.
Just like goals that are too vague, goals that can’t be measured can be a bit of a letdown—how do you know when you’ve accomplished what you set out to do? Instead of trying to get better at something or eliminate a bad habit, phrase your goal in a way that it can be measured, like walking 10,000 steps every day (perfect excuse for a new Fitbit), only eating fast food once a month, or reading 10 pages of a book every night. When your goal is measurable it’s easier to see when you’ve achieved it and where you might need some help to get back on track.
As much as we’d like to win the lottery, it’s not a very realistic financial plan and it’s not very attainable so it’s probably not a great goal. Be honest with yourself when you set goals—how much time are you going to be able to spend on this and is it something you can accomplish with a little effort? Your goal should be something just out of reach. Set yourself up for success!
You know all those things you’d love to do if you just had more time? Well, when it comes to goals, you need a deadline. Consider setting a short-term goal (something you can do by the end of the month) and a long-term goal (something you can do in 6 months) and circle the date on the calendar. Set reminders along the way and reward yourself, too, as you make progress.
Goal get ‘em!