Are you ready for the new year, new me, social media posts? Give me a second as I roll my eyes all the way back, back! At the end of each year, we’re assaulted by memes, and statuses promising major transformations and unrealistic goals in the New Year. We’re bombarded by work out snaps and the gym is at its peak the week or two into the New Year and then there’s this deafening silence as we casually revert back to our old ways. Too often we tend to make resolutions simply because it’s something we do at the end of each year. Truth be told, a goal or a resolution should be something we try to achieve each and every day.
I was once that person, making projections and plans for the New Year for this new, shiny version of myself that I hoped would magically appear and then nothing, so I stopped. I stopped creating New Year’s resolutions because I was disgusted at myself and my lack of discipline to make my resolutions stick. If there is one person we can’t fake it for, it’s ourselves. We know the truth! In lieu of making outlandish wild resolutions, I instead began to make S.M.A.R.T goals.
What are S.M.A.R.T goals? Let me break it down for you. Specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely goals.
- Specific goals are goals that aren’t broad but are crystal clear that you there’s no confusion about what you want to achieve, they’re laser focused and clear and usually answer the 5 W’s (When, Why, What, Where, Who). Let’s give it a go. A lot of people resolve to work out more at the beginning of the year, a specific goal can be. “My goal is to enrol in a [insert specific gym] on January 1st and work out 3 x a week in order to lose 40 pounds in order to live a healthier and happier life. Much better than saying, “I will go to the gym next year”, right?
- Measurable goals. When setting a goal, there should be some way for you to evaluate and measure your progress in order to keep at it. Knowing that you are in some way achieving your goals helps to motivate you. Let’s take our weight loss journey. How do we measure this goal? Our goal was to lose 40 pounds, that’s trackable. Every week we are able to measure our progress on the scale. If you don’t have a measurable target, it may feel as if you are working in vain. Some people’s goal is to make “more money” in the new year. How much money? What’s your target?
- Attainable goals. This is SUPER important right here, is your goal attainable, is it achievable, is it realistic? You can’t expect to make a goal like landing on the moon and expect it to actually be achieved if you’re not an astronaut. Maybe you should start by visiting NASA! We all know when our goals are far-fetched and simply out of our reach, by not making your goals attainable you are doing yourself an injustice. Don’t misconstrue this now, this isn’t the same thing as being “slept on”, or not believing in yourself. This is being real and knowing the limitations you have. You KNOW you can lose 40 pounds. You know if you wanted to you could run a marathon.
- Relevant goals. Making a goal relevant is simply ensuring that it makes sense to your overall professional or personal life. While relevance can be subjective, you don’t want to stray too far away from your reality because you are the driver of your goals. An example of a relevant goal for me would be to learn how to edit videos in order to create more content for SHESOMAJOR’s Youtube channel or to start a SHESOMAJOR podcast. An irrelevant goal would be for me to want to start a SHESOMAJOR magazine. Go it?
- Timely goals. Last up in this equation are timely goals, goals that have a deadline attached to it or are time specific. Does your goal have a start and an end date? They should. Ensuring your goals have a time to it helps to ensure a certain sense of urgency to complete them. If you don’t, you’ll end up probably never starting or never finishing them or shelving them. Is it a short-term goal? Will it take 1 week to complete? 1 year? 2 years? Circling back to our weight loss goal, if the goal is to lose 40 pounds, when do you expect to complete this goal? Six months? A year? Set a time!
And there you have it, the smart way to make your New Year’s resolutions stick in 2019! I am in the midst of auditing my goals, creating new goals and assessing old ones. Have I achieved most of them? No, but I’m doing 100% better than I used to. Remember, goals are nothing without the work. We can sit down great s.m.a.r.t goals and vision boards and read self-help books 365 days of the year, but if we don’t do the work, it’s all in vain.
Remember, I dubbed 2019 as the year of ‘let’s get it’, so let’s do just that! GET IT!