Happy New Year! January is a great time to press the reset button and focus on YOU. What is it that you want for yourself this year?
My big goal for this year is to practice mindful parenting. This is a what I would call a general goal. One reason many people do not follow through with their resolutions is because their goal was not specific enough, and they did not create a plan that is realistic for them.
A goal is something that you want for yourself that has a desired outcome, and you are committed to putting in the work to get there. For example, a common goal is to lose X pounds. This is a good general goal, but it is not specific enough. You could say, I will go to the gym on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays and workout for 30 minutes in order to lose X pounds.
Here are my tips for creating S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely) goals.
- Specific: Specifically, think about who needs to involved? What do you want to accomplish? Where do you need to be for this to take place? When do you need to do it? Most importantly, why do you want to accomplish this goal?
- Measurable: I encourage my clients to break down their big goal into smaller, daily or weekly, goals. This makes it so you can celebrate small victories along the way. If your goal is truly measurable, you will be able to know when it is accomplished.
- Attainable: Creating a goal that is attainable is so important! Sometimes we have to shift our mindset and priorities in order to attain our goals. The more we want something, typically, the shift naturally happens. It is especially helpful if we keep going back to our specific goal and our why.
- Realistic: A realistic goal is a doable goal. Your goal shouldn’t be too easy to meet, but it also shouldn’t be out of reach. For example, you might want to lose 10 pounds, but going to the gym 7 days a week is not realistic (or healthy). You need to find your sweet spot. Sometimes we need to rework our goals after a week of trying it on for size. You should feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of each week.
- Timely: Without a timeline, you won’t have a sense of urgency. Otherwise, your goal is just an idea floating around out there that you hope to accomplish someday.
I cannot express enough how it important it is to figure your WHY. Your why might be totally different than your sister, partner, or best friend. Your why will keep you honest and focused.
If you have tried to set S.M.A.R.T. goals for yourself and you are not getting the results you want, I would be happy to help keep you on track. As a health coach, I take an integrative approach in helping people set realistic goals. It is important to look at all areas of your life when setting big goals.
Cheers to making your goals realities this year!