smart goals

SMART Goals in 2020 Instead of Resolutions for Your Yearlong Intentions

The new year is coming fast and although there is nothing particularly important about January 1st, it signifies a start of something new for some of us, and there is an impending pressure of creating resolutions for the new year.  However, only 8% of people keep or succeed at the resolution they set out to do, but that is because the model for resolutions is flawed.  This year approach your new year in a different way to have more success by setting SMART goals instead of New Year’s Resolutions.

SMART Goal Setting and Intentions

Resolutions are firm decisions to do or not to do something while goals are the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result. New Year’s resolutions often are all or nothing. There is no plan on how to achieve what has been set out to do or how to sustain that resolution for an entire 365 days.  Goals also are malleable, and focus on more than just the outcome, but the journey.  This year use the SMART goal format to make sure the new year starts off right for you.

The SMART goal format has been used as early as 1981. SMART is an acronym for:

  • Specific (simple, sensible, significant) – make your goal clear and specific
  • Measurable (meaningful, motivating)- be able to define how your goal will be measured
  • Achievable (agreed, attainable) – Is your goal realistic and attainable? If not, simplify your goal so it is.
  • Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based) – does your goal matter to you? Make sure to define your “why” to help keep your perspective on the importance of the goal itself.
  • Time bound (time-based, time limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive) – have a target date in mind. Goals shouldn’t go on forever, and once you reach your goal celebrate!

When setting goals, it is also important to remember that you may need to set small goals to reach your final goal. This is a great way to celebrate small wins and enjoy the journey along the way.

Other Alternatives to Resolutions

Maybe you don’t have any specific goals in mind for this year, but you still want to celebrate New Year’s Day with some self-care or self-improvement. Here are some alternative ideas and goal-setting tips for you:

  1. Create a yearlong bucket list – what new adventures do you want to do this year? Write it down and check them off as the year goes by!
  2. Pick a new 30-day challenge every month – try something new for 30 days every month. Make a list of 12 challenges at the beginning of the year and assign one to each month.  Find a friend to join in with you!
  3. Pick a word for the year – pick one word that will guide you through the year; maybe this is the year of “joy” or the year of “mindfulness.” Use this word when reflecting and planning your year.
  4. Create a list of things you are looking forward to this year – add to the list as the year goes on and check off the things that happen. Bonus: journal about the events after they have gone by and reflect on the fun you had!
  5. Make a gratitude jar and write down one thing you are grateful for every single day of 2020. On New Year’s Eve next year, read through all your grateful moments and think back on the wonderful year you had.

What SMART goals and intentions will you be setting in the New Year?

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