The number of people who forgo their New Year’s resolutions by the end of January is 1 in 3: Top reasons include being too busy or not being committed to their goals in the first place. Setting goals for the New Year is a great way to focus on the changes you would like to make.
Changing the way you make your goals can be a powerful tool in making your goals successful. The best way to set goals is to use the S.M.A.R.T method.
Specific: The more specific you are, the better
Measureable: If you want to “improve your health” that’s great – but you can’t measure health directly. Make your goals around a specific behaviour that you can measure.
Achievable: To achieve means that you have reached your goal. Don’t set a goal that is going to be too hard to reach.
Realistic: The goals you set need to be realistic.
Time-Related: Having a time frame attached to your goals is important. Not having enough time is something we all struggle with, so attaching a time frame to your goal will help you prioritize them.
How to Turn your SMART Goals into New Habits That Stick!
SMART goals that involve behaviour change can become habits. Changing your habits can help you be successful in meeting your goals. A SMART goal of “I will lose 1-2 lbs. per week until I reach my goal weight loss of 20 lbs.” is an excellent SMART goal, but it doesn’t involve any behaviour change, so it can’t become a habit. Using goals to create a change in your behaviour can become a habit; for example, “eating 1 cup of vegetables at lunch 3 times a week” can become a habit. This new habit can improve your diet, reduce your calorie intake and help you with your weight loss goal.
Tips on Getting Started on Making Behaviour SMART Goals:
1. Start small and pace yourself. Start small and easy. You may find it easier to do one goal at a time – only you know what is realistic for yourself!
2. Expect Set Backs
– Write down when and why they happened and move on.
– If you find yourself going off track for a day or two do not quit on your habit – it’s normal!
3. Stick with it! It takes a minimum of 21 days for your new behaviour to become a habit