2020 action planAre you tired of making New Year's resolutions only to forget all about them sometime before the year is through? Well, you are in good company. According to U.S. News and World Report, 80 percent of Americans fail to achieve their New Year’s resolutions, and most will lose their resolve as early as mid-February.

There are many reasons to explain such massive failures, such as, a lack of clarity or setting extremely high expectations. Talking about negative feelings! If you have experienced problems keeping your resolutions, you may be tempted to stop altogether. What is a healthy alternative? Where do we you begin to create a happy future for yourself?

Get out some paper and try setting S.M.A.R.T goals instead of a resolution this year. Setting goals will help you to break down and develop an action plan. This will help you stay motivated to complete the goal!  Setting S.M.A.R.T goals takes into consideration what you want to achieve and then helps you to stay committed.

What is a S.M.A.R.T. Goal?

A S.MA.R.T. goal is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. S.M.A.R.T. goals are a healthy alternative to setting resolutions because they are written down in detail to make them a tangible thing. Goal setting can also give you an opportunity to really think about what you want out of life.

Well, How do You Create a S.M.A.R.T. Goal?

First, you must be very specific is creating your goal. Vague goals are difficult to accomplish and monitor. Specific goals are very well-defined, concise and clear, easier to focus your efforts.

Specific goals answer the following questions: Why is it important? What outcome would you like to accomplish? What do you want? Who is involved? What resources are necessary? What are the limitations?

Is It Measurable?

After you have thought about the specifics of your goal, the next step is to make certain it is measurable. A measurable goal has criteria set to monitor progress along the way to the accomplishment of the goal. It’s important that your goal be measurable so you can stay motivated and track your progress. Tracking your progress will help you to stay focused, be positive and meet deadlines.

Measurable goals answer the following questions: How will I know my goal is met? How will I determine if my goal has not been accomplished? How much? How many? How will I determine my progress?

Is It Achievable?

After you have made certain your goal is measurable, the third step is to determine if it is achievable. For success, your goal should be realistic and attainable. Your goal should stretch your current abilities while remaining possible. Setting achievable goals gives you the opportunity to identify resources, options or opportunities that could assist you in attaining your goal.

Achievable goals answer the following questions: How realistic is the goal based on any limitations? How will I accomplish the goal? Is the goal possible to achieve?

Is It Relevant?

Once you have determined if your goal is achievable, the fourth step is to make certain it is relevant. It’s important to retain control over your goals and maintain responsibility for them. Your goal should matter to you and also align with other relevant goals in your life.

Relevant goals answer the following questions: Is the goal worthwhile? Is this the right time to try and accomplish this goal?  Is my goal applicable in the current socio-economic climate? Is the goal relevant to your life purpose? Have others accomplished this goal successfully?

Is It Time-Bound?

The last step in creating a S.M.A.R.T. goal is to make sure it is time-bound. Every goal should have a start date and a deadline date. Establishing a timeline can help to focus your efforts on the goal and give you something to work towards. The best part about timely goals is they help to prevent your everyday tasks from taking priority over your long-term goals. Time-bound goals can also help with creating a sense of urgency.

Time-bound goals answer the following questions: Does my goal have a deadline? When will I accomplish the goal? What can I do right now? What can I do 6-months from now?

Often individuals will set themselves up for failure by setting general, vague and unrealistic goals. Don’t be that person! However; S.M.A.R.T goals set you up for success by making it specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. This method of goal setting will help to give you a sense of direction, keep you motivated and helps you to organize properly for success. So, this year let’s not make any resolutions, instead, let’s be successful and make S.M.A.R.T. goals.

Nicole Daniels
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