If you concentrate on small, manageable steps you can cross unimaginable distances.” – Shaun Hick
Happy January, friends! By now I figure most of you have written down your resolutions for the year, but if you haven’t, it’s no big deal. I don’t believe there’s really a set date to envision new dreams. You can decide not to set down some dreams until months from now, and it will still serve its purpose. What matters most to me though is that those dreams become reality.
For me as a mother, I feel it’s so important to be able to set goals and achieve them to help maintain a sense of self. It’s something that motivates me to be a better mom.
I know that a lot of times we find ourselves writing dreams – or more commonly resolutions – and unfortunately, we often find ourselves failing which doesn’t help build and motivate us.
Resolution: Get to a healthy weight.
End of year: Ugh I am nowhere where I wanted to be by this point. I’ll try again in January.
Sound familiar? It probably does because it’s probably the #1 example people use to tell you why resolutions are pointless. Granted, I’m pretty sure we’ve all done it at some point. The problem is that most of us don’t make resolutions with any steps to achieve them.
A resolution, by definition, is “a firm decision to do or not do something,” but that’s where it ends. Where do you even go from there?
This year, don’t just envision resolutions. Take it to the next level and set SMART goals.
THE SMART METHOD & HOW YOU CAN APPLY IT FOR SUCCESS THIS YEAR
I’ve worked at a few different companies, and they often say pretty much the same thing when it comes to setting goals – to make them SMART. I wish I had applied this sooner to my personal life, and this is why I decided to share it as my first post of the year. Setting SMART goals is a concept that stands for:
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Achievable
R – Realistic
T – Time based
If your goal doesn’t fit these requirements, reassess them until they do.
Resolution: Get to a healthy weight.
SMART goal: Lose 10 pounds by eating no more than 2000 calories a day.
This goal is specific, measurable, achievable, and realistic. It tells you exactly what you need to do to help you attain your goal. The only thing missing with that goal is the T for Time-based which is where I bring in the point of the time period.
Often times, when you have a long period of time for one goal it’s very tempting to procrastinate (and if your resolution this year is to procrastinate less, this really won’t help). By breaking the year up into 6 months – or even 3 months – for new goals, you make them more attainable because you’re more likely to stay on track.
SMART goal: Lose 10 pounds by eating no more than 2000 calories a day by end of March.
Once the end of March rolls around, set your next SMART goal for the next 3 months (or time period of your choosing) that continues to align with your resolution/dream. Leave a post-it note somewhere you’ll see every day to remind yourself of this goal. You’ll find yourself on a greater track to success than if you just said “Get to a healthy weight.”
MY SMART GOALS
Managing goals with my little man.
I always found it helpful when I learned something new to see how other people approach it, so here’s some of my resolutions/dreams to achieve by the end of the year:
- Regaining strength and sense of healthy normalcy post-partum.
- Read new books
- Nurture my current relationships
- Grow my blog
- Do more volunteer work
- Plan a family vacation
- Reduce waste in the home
- Make progress on the yard
Note how vague they are. You can definitely be more specific, but I like the flexibility this gives me especially since we’re anticipating another baby this year, and I have no clue how much of my time will be consumed by a toddler and a baby at the same time. Goals change throughout the year due to changing circumstances, so I like to envision the bigger picture and adjust goals as needed. I’m breaking up my year into quarters (3 month chunks), so here are my SMART goals for the first 3 months:
- Gentle 30 minute workouts at least 3 times a week
- Finish reading 2 books
- Post 1 blog post per week
- Go out and volunteer at least once
- Attempt zero-waste tactics in February for 2 weeks
Be realistic. I would push harder with some of this, but I also considered that I’m just about in my third trimester. Note that I also didn’t set a SMART goal for every resolution; I plan to add some in different quarters so I don’t overwhelm myself. This way, I will still feel progress towards all of my resolutions for the year. My overall theme for this year is to live more consciously and to simplify my life, and I know these resolutions will come more into fruition with the help of short-term goals.
Try it out. Granted it takes a little more effort and work to create clear SMART goals, but as the old saying goes, “dreams don’t work unless you do.”
Wishing you all of the beauty and growth you can dream up this 2018.
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