“SMART” strategies can help you achieve your New Year’s goals

Making goals specific, measurable, attainable, reasonable and timely can improve your odds for achieving them.
Published: Dec. 29, 2022 at 10:28 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Whether it’s getting in shape, being better organized, or a career or education goal, making resolutions can set a course for the new year.

To get there, Stormont Vail’s senior organizational development consultant William Johnson suggests think small steps rather than giant leaps.

“One of the key elements in actually making this work is instead of having a long-range, long-term, 365 day type of goal is having a week-to-week, month-to-month type of goal,”

Johnson suggests employing what’s known as the “SMART” strategy.

“S” is be specific.

“You want to make sure that you break your goal down as closely as you can so you can be sure it’s something you are able to really focus on,” he said.

For example, rather than simply saying you want to get healthy, set a specific weight loss or exercise goal.

Next, make it measurable.

“How are you going to know when you succeed? If I need to lose 50 pounds, I’m going to set a five pound goal for two weeks so that every time that I measure, I’m able step on the scale, I can actually see that progress,” he said.

The same applies to a resolution like organizing your home. One week, you might clean one closet; the next, clear the kitchen cabinets.

The “A” means goals should be attainable.

“Sometimes people set goals that are way too lofty and then they get burned out real fast,” Johnson said. “You have to know yourself. If this is brand new to you, you have no earthly idea how to do it, you have to recognize what your limitations are and what you’re able to accomplish

Also, remember to be realistic.

“We have to look at the physical, the mental and the emotional components that come into the realistic,” Johnson said. “I’m 51-years old. If I wanted to go run a marathon, could I do that? Absolutely, but my body is going to tell me that’s not going to happen - you have bad knees, you have a bad back. I have to find something else that helps me attain what I want - which is to get healthy.”

Finally, make your goals timely.

“We want to make sure that we establish timely goals that every two weeks, I’m going to take a knee, I’m going to look and see where I’m at, what success I have achieved, and then move on to the next part of that goal,” Johnson said.

Johnson also reminds you to realize you’re human! New habits don’t form overnight.

“There are going to be times when you fail,” he said. “Giving yourself grace, being able to get up the very next day and say, all right, I’m doing to start over today.”

Johnson also says to celebrate the wins. Rewarding yourself when you hit those smaller milestones will keep you motivated on the path to the big picture.