Already having trouble keeping your New Year’s resolutions? You’re not alone. The problem may not be with willpower, but with how you set goals. I use the “SMART” process — and you can too. I’ll show you how SMART goals can help achieve the personal and business results you want this year.
An Actionable Acronym
Most people develop goals too quickly. Those goals often aren’t measurable or controllable — so they aren’t easily achievable. When setting a goal, ask yourself how you’ll know if or when it’s reached. If you can answer that, you’re off to a good start. Most of all, make every goal SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.
As an example, let’s see how my personal goal of eating healthier in 2023 fits into the SMART model.
What do you want to accomplish?
I want my meals and snacks to be low in fat and sugar and contain lean proteins and fiber-rich vegetables and grains.
Who needs to be included?
Me as well as my husband, because we share many meals together.
When do you want to do this?
Starting January 1, 2023, through the rest of the year (and hopefully beyond).
How will you measure your progress and completion?
I’ll enter my food into my Fitbit app and review my macronutrients for a healthy ratio of carbs, fat, and protein. At the end of every week, if my macronutrients are 45% to 65%, my protein is 10% to 35%, and my fat is 20% to 35%, I know I’m maintaining a healthy ratio.
Do you have the skills to achieve this goal?
Yes: I can make conscious decisions about what I eat, accurately log each item in my app, and objectively evaluate each week of meals and snacks.
Is the amount of effort required on par with what you want to achieve?
Yes: The effort required in making conscious eating decisions and keeping an accurate food diary is worth the goal of being healthier.
Why am I setting this goal now?
I’m ready to make a positive life change and excited to feel healthier.
What’s the deadline?
Because everything I eat this year counts toward my goal of eating healthier, “every meal or snack” could be an answer — or “at the end of every week” when I examine my tracker.
DEVELOP A SMART ACTION PLAN
Start by making a list of your goals. Don’t worry about trying to make them SMART yet; that can be overwhelming. Just write them out.
Then, cut out goals that can’t be revised to meet the SMART criteria. Don’t be disappointed when you’re left with a shorter list. A few intentional, well-thought-out options will get you better results than a lengthy, half-developed list. Once you have SMART goals in hand, you can get to work to create your SMART action plan to achieve them.
THE POWER OF PARTNERSHIP
Worried that you lack the expertise or resources to reach your SMART 2023 goals? Everything is easier with a partner. Ask a friend, co-worker, or manager to review your goals and give you feedback. Many times, talking through your goals with someone else will provide clarity or suggestions you might not have realized on your own. This is especially helpful if you will need to rely on your work team to accomplish some of your goals. Also, making your friend, co-worker, or manager aware of what you’re trying to accomplish can help keep you accountable and provide you with support throughout the year. Shoot me an email and let’s make a plan to bring your vision to life in 2023!