With the New Year we are going to see a lot of individuals striving for change, a better year, resolutions, and good intentions.  Let’s be honest though, by the time February hits, many of us are off our gluten, dairy, soy, animal free diets and chomping down on a beefy burger, chased by some cola and a brownie while binging on Netflix.  If this scenario sounds even the slightest familiar, here are some pointers for you in setting some goals that you can actually keep for 365+ days.  


SMART goals aren’t anything new.  The acronym was coined in 1981 and made “famous” by Business Author Peter Drucker.  The acronym is a guideline in setting goals that you can keep.  It stands for:

  • Specific- Your goal should be clear and precise about what you want to accomplish.  It needs to be more than, “I want to be happy.”  What does happy look like to you?  
  • Measurable- You want to be able to track your progress.  Try to quantify your goal.  This may be easy to do with weight loss goals since a number is involved; but, harder to do with others.  For example, if the goal is to be more educated you can quantify it by books read, applications submitted to universities, classes taken, etc.  
  • Achievable-  This is BIG.  The goal you set needs to actually be something you can realistically obtain.  Don’t set the goal to BE PERFECT.  It will only lead to disappointment, negative feelings, and lack of motivation.  Know yourself and set a goal that will push you and one that you can truly achieve.   
  • Relevant-  Goals ought to be insync with your values and what you deem as truly important.  If the goal doesn’t really matter to you, what reason would you have to keep it up?
  • Time Bound- Give yourself deadlines.  Time boundaries help break up the year and goal into bite size chunks and can help with making your goal more specific, measurable, and achievable.

Other Pointers

In addition to making your goals SMART, make them fun, personal, and exciting.  While you have the motivation, ride that wave and plan away.  Try to build a nest and fortress of back up plans to keep you motivated for those days when you want to give up.  You can do so by telling others about your goals and having a “sponsor.”  Confide in someone you can trust and you can call to give you a pep talk to keep your goal when you’re feeling weak.

Write letters to yourself in advance and hide them in different places to find.  Write words of encouragement and reasons why you’re doing this.  Put a list of your motivations on something you’ll see every day such as your phone background, mirror, computer desktop, even your bedroom ceiling.  

Get creative, go pintrest crazy, and find enjoyable ways to display your goal, keep track of your goal, or visually motivate yourself to keep your goal.  


Lastly, it might be helpful to reward yourself with a prize when you finish your goal.  Go ahead and Treat Yo’ Self!  It will make keeping that goal just a little more exciting and enticing.  You can do it!