Make This Year's Goals Smart

January has always seemed to be a bittersweet month to me. You’re on the downhill from the holiday high, sad that it’s over but happy for the onslaught of activities to start to taper off, not to mention the sugary treats have stopped attacking you around every corner you turn and you can finally start to remember what vegetables are (my family has quite a large sweet tooth, and by that I mean all of their teeth are sweet, all of them). With your newfound free time it’s the perfect opportunity to sit down and plan how this year is going to be your best year yet! Alright! You’re going to get more sleep! Save more money! Reach all of your training goals! Accomplish world peace! Figure out how to make pizza as healthy as broccoli! All the things! Oof, anyone else as tired from reading that laundry list as I am?

Which brings me to my, perhaps longwinded, point that I’m trying to make. Yes, goals and resolutions are great. Having them gives you an added boost of motivation as well as helps you see the progress you’ve made as time goes on. That being said, they’re also a very easy way to set yourself up for failure without realizing it. Setting your sights too high, your resolutions too drastic, and your goals too out of reach can have the opposite affect that you’re looking for. You want that happy medium between way too easy and completely unattainable. But how do you do that? You have to make your goals SMART.

I don’t know about you guys, but I just learned this acronym, and I’m all about it. It stands for:

  • Specific

  • Measurable

  • Acheivable

  • Realistic

  • Timely

Keeping your goals in line with these five things is a great way to make sure you’re sitting right along that happy medium line. Which means? Actually setting goals to give you motivation, promote good changes, and accomplish a lot more than you thought possible.

I like to think of this way of goal setting almost like a checklist. If the grandiose thing I want to accomplish can’t be molded to fit these five things, then maybe I’m not ready to set it yet. Or, maybe it just needs a bit of reworking to make it a bit SMARTer. If you have to take something off your list, don’t be discouraged! Rome wasn’t build in a day, not everything can be accomplished overnight, you can’t make brioche dough without letting it proof for at least 24 hours, insert additional cliche phrase here. Take your time, make your checklist, and you’ll be accomplishing those goals in no time.