Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Make SMART goals for the New Year

It's that time of the year that we start to look forward to the next year and think about what we want to accomplish! We set New Year's Resolutions and make plans for what we want to do or achieve in this New Year. Some of us are very successful in achieving these set goals, and some of us fail miserably. I am happy to say that I achieved my goals for 2010 and am ready to branch out and make some pretty lofty goals for 2011.

I've found that making SMART goals definitely keep you on track to successfully accomplishing your goals. Make your goals:

S - Specific
M - Measurable
A - Attainable
R - Realistic/Relevant
T - Time sensitive

I won't go into detail on each "level" of a SMART goal because I feel it's pretty self explanatory, and I think you can get the idea. The thing I do want to mention is that it's very important to use positive language and have a "By When" when creating your goals.

For instance it's very easy to just say "My New Year's Resolution is to exercise more this year (or lose weight or whatever)" but you have not been very specific or set a "By When" in creating this goal. I find it more successful to be specific, so figure out what kind of exercise you would like to do and create a goal around that instead of just saying "exercise more". Also, keep it future positive by saying "I will..."

An example would be one of my goals for 2011 which is "I will run two Half Marathons by August of 2011" So I've set a specific exercise that will allow me to achieve my exercise goals through training. These are measurable because once Ive completed them, I will have achieved the goal, as well as I can track my exercise online while training for these races. This goal is both attainable and realistic as I have already run one Half Marathon before, so I know I can do it, and giving myself the "By When" of August allows me plenty of time to train for these, as well as being Time Sensitive. I plan on running the first Half Marathon in May so that gives me from May until August to complete the second one.

I have so many goals planned for 2011, that I won't get into all of them now, but you will be hearing about them throughout the year. I hope you can set some realistic goals that are achievable and I would love to hear about them.

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