Let’s start the New Year with a SMART goal. New Year resolutions are not just simple, idle, whims, or promises; they rekindle new hope and emphasize past progress. They separate the past, present, and future into manageable sections to acknowledge your success, efforts, failures, and even obstacles. These resolutions can be anything from getting a new job, losing weight, starting a new course, getting a promotion at work, quitting smoking, to meeting that new soulmate.
SMART New Year’s Goals
While millions of people set new resolutions each year, a tiny percentage achieve their resolutions. Most people face many difficulties accomplishing their New Year’s resolutions because they don’t set a SMART goal. Some people blame their New Year’s resolution failures on a lack of passion or enthusiasm. But these are shallow reasons that can’t be substantiated.
To achieve your goals, you need to think differently by developing a SMART way or method to help you accomplish those goals. If you’re among the millions of people who believe the New year ushers new plans, dreams, and wishes, then this article is worth a read. It covers everything you need to know about setting SMART New Year’s goals.
Goal setting is a critical part of the Noom weight-loss plan. One of the first exercises is to narrow down why you’re truly wanting to lose weight. Start your weight loss journey with the Noom free trial offer today!
What is a SMART Goal?
Let’s say your goal is to get a new job at a local bank as a teller. One morning, probably the second or third week of January, you walk into a bank and head to the manager’s desk. You ask him if there is any vacancy. The manager gladly tells you there is a vacancy, but you’ll have to be paid half the average salary. Your goal will have been achieved, right? Well, you wanted to be a teller.
You may have wanted to be a teller, but you never expected to earn half of what your fellows were making. That is why a SMART goal is necessary if you’re going to accomplish your goals – they are meant to address all aspects of the plan, even the hiccups that can occur along the way. Setting these goals helps you better understand what you want to get within a specified time. They let you project or plan so that you can get the most out of your efforts.
How Do You Write a SMART Goal?
The most crucial step in setting any goal is to eliminate any form of confusion about its outcome. What exactly do you want to achieve? This question’s answer is not just a simple statement like, “I want to work harder.” Instead, it needs to specify what you want to work hard at. Have a concise description of what you want to accomplish.
Note that the goal has to be well defined, simple, and easy to understand to be possible. Unclear goals will be easy to misunderstand, which means that you will have a higher likelihood of failing to accomplish your desired results.
A goal is measurable when you can easily track its progress. Without measuring your goal, you may not know how far you have come, how far you still have to go, and the duration you need to reach your goal. As such, measuring results help you celebrate even the smallest wins you have made while going for your main goal. Moreover, it lets you adjust your efforts if you think there is a faster or better way to achieve a goal.
It is a good thing to have big dreams, but remember, we live in the real world. You need to set goals that are within your capability and ability. Goals that are not easy to achieve or too far of a stretch can quickly lower your motivation instead of raising it.
“I want to buy a 90-million-dollar home by the time I am turning 60” well, this is a measurable and specific goal. However, is it achievable?
If you are in your early 20s or even 30s, buying a $90 million home may be achievable; that is if you plan for it and work hard. However, if your 60th birthday is only three days away and you don’t have any savings, you will probably not achieve such a goal.
Realistic or Relevant
When setting goals, you need to be honest with yourself. What is the likelihood of achieving your goal? Is it possible to achieve your goal? You need to determine that your goal is in line with existing realities. Don’t set a goal because somebody did it; do it because they are real to you.
Imagine you want to be the United States president, but you’re not a US resident. Ultimately, your goal will be unrealistic if you are not even a resident of the United States.
In anything you do, a deadline is something that needs to be considered at all times. Generally, people work best when they have a deadline to meet. Having a particular time that something needs to be done or a goal that has to be accomplished creates the need to evaluate how much you have done. This brings about accountability while you try to achieve your goal.
How do I Write a Goal Plan?
Your goal plan is your road map that will take wherever you wish in a few weeks, months, or even years. To write a good goal plan, think about the task at hand, the responsibilities that come with it, and the results you expect. Here are seven steps you can follow when you want to write a good goal plan.
Step 1: Decide on what you want
Do you want to build a house for your family? Do you want to start a six-figure business? You need to decide what exactly you want. That will be your goal. If you have several goals – which is expected – prioritize them. Start with the goal that you consider more important, followed by the others.
Step 2: Write a goal statement
Writing something down helps you remember. You must write down your goals, whether online or on a piece of paper. You need to have a place where you can refer to ensure you are on the right track. In the statement, you need to focus on the results you expect at the end of a particular time.
Step 3: Set a deadline
Although many people don’t love deadlines, they are part of our everyday life. They are essential to almost every role or task we perform. Generally, deadlines are supposed to help you complete your task, keep you on track (especially multistage projects), and make it clear what we need to expect after a given period.
Step 4: List the things you must do to achieve your goal
In most cases, there are several things you need to do to achieve your goals. Listing them and continuously checking the list can go a long way in ensuring every task is performed as expected. This list is your cheat sheet to success.
Step 5: Arrange the list in order of importance
Just like prioritizing your goals, you need to consider the most important things you need to do to achieve your goal. You should first focus on these activities, which are usually the hardest, before the others. Taking on more challenging things first will make it easier to achieve your goals because you’ll generally be more enthusiastic about achieving your goals at that time.
Step 6: Promise yourself
It’s important to promise yourself that you will take the necessary measure to realize the goals you have set. For instance, you can promise yourself that you’ll save at least $50 every week. This kind of promise will encourage you to have a saving culture where you’ll feel bad and want to save more if you miss saving $50 on a particular day.
Step 7: Take necessary action
You may have a good plan, but you may not achieve your goals if you don’t take action. Don’t procrastinate; just get it going. Note that there are people who start a business without even having a plan and still succeed. Others have several plans, but they’ve never executed any of them. Execution is everything.
What Makes a Goal Realistic?
As stated earlier, you need to set goals that are within your means. If your goal is very big or beyond what is realistic, you will likely dismiss it within a pretty short time. But how do you tell that your goals are realistic? Here are a few questions you need to ask yourself to determine if your goal is realistic or not.
Question 1: How much am I motivated to achieve this goal?
You need to have the motivation to perform the tasks you are supposed to do to achieve your goals. Without an inner inspiration, you will be sluggish in whatever you do. If you don’t have the right motivation, there are high chances that your goal isn’t realistic.
You need to be prepared for obstacles and setbacks when working towards your goals. A high level of preparedness for disappointments and finding solutions to new problems are among the best ways to remain motivated. You also need to consider increasing your level of motivation along the way.
Question 2: What is my level of interest in the goal?
How much interest do you have? Naturally, people get bored with things that don’t interest them, whether watching tv, playing football or reading a book. In setting your goal, your level of interest helps you determine if it’s realistic or not.
If you find you are not interested in a goal but still want to achieve it, you need to find ways to make your goal fun and exciting. Moreover, you may not always be inspired by your goal. Well, it can’t always be fun and exciting. Sometimes you have to motivate yourself and develop or even increase your interest in a particular goal.
Question 3: How much time do I have to achieve this goal?
Your timeframe will dictate if you will succeed or not. A very short deadline will most likely make your goal unrealistic. Your brain may likely dismiss the goal due because of the belief that you may not get your desired outcome within that short time. If the goal takes a long time when it can be done within a shorter time, you’ll likely lose the motivation to reach your outcome.
You should set a timeframe for every activity you undertake, regardless of how small it is. A timeframe will help you know exactly what you need to do at a given time, making your goal realistic and achievable.
Question 4: Do you have the right resources to achieve this goal?
You may want to develop a unique thing that you believe will be your breakthrough. But do you have the right resources, or is it possible to get the help you need? Without the right resources, your goal will be a dream that you may never start working towards.
If you have a marketing campaign that includes working with other people and content production equipment, you need to have the right tools for content production and the right persons. Without these two resources, you may never achieve your goal. The same goes for everything in goal setting.
How Do I Make an Unrealistic Goal a SMART Goal?
Having super-ambitious or unrealistic goals does not always mean that they can’t be achieved. With a little effort, motivation, and determination, you can achieve what you had earlier thought would be impossible. But you first need to modify or make the unrealistic goal a SMART goal. Here are 5 things you can do to make your goals realistic.
Step 1: Think
You need to think about your goal critically. Some questions to ask yourself could be: “To what extent do I have to get a desirable outcome?” “What unique thing should I be doing?” If you need to do more than what you had earlier thought, consider that.
You should never underestimate yourself, and in most cases, you’ll find that you’re better than you think. Sometimes unrealistic goals act as adrenaline infusions that give people the endurance they need to overcome various obstacles. Thinking will help you consider the specifics, measurements, timeframe, and outcome associated with your goal.
Step 2: Create a roadmap to achieve your dream
You need to have a plan – a well laid out plan. With a plan, you will be itching to do what is detailed in it. Without a plan, you may lack the excitement to make your dream a reality.
Regularly, you can refer to your plan or road map to boost your morale and excitement. If a goal is unrealistic or too big, and you believe that you will not make it happen, you may not have the drive to do a thing. Therefore, creating a road map for unrealistic goals can make them SMART goals by helping you break down the larger end goal into smaller parts.
Step 3: Give yourself time
Most people underestimate what they can achieve in five years but overestimate what they would want to accomplish in a year. Some specific, measurable, and achievable goals fail because people don’t give themselves enough time.
You may want to buy an expensive house within a year. However, if you don’t have a job that pays well, you may need to extend your timeframe. Along the way, you will learn a lot and even modify your big dream. For instance, you may decide to start a side hustle after a year of saving at work. That will increase your earning, which will help change an unrealistic goal into a reality.
Step 4: Be Accountable
In this case, accountability means that you are willing to take action. Take action within the shortest time since other things may distract you if you wait until late. Your goals have to get out of your head shortly after New Year.
If you want to start a multi-million dollar online business, tell your friends and family members about it. Set up a social media account for the company and talk to individuals you think will help you achieve your goals. If you do all this within a few days, you will be determined to make your dream a reality.
Step 5: Work hard to achieve your goal
After thinking about your goal and realizing it’s not a realistic or average goal, you’ll realize that you need to work extra hard to get results. Nothing comes easy – you need to put in the extra effort.
What’s the Difference Between a SMART Goal and SMAART Goal?
There is a difference between a SMART goal and SMAART goal. Well, you can see that the difference is the extra “A.” SMAART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Action-oriented/Accountable, Realistic, Time-bound.
SMAART goals ensure that your goals are action-oriented. Very often, you may be too ambitious when setting your New Year’s goals. It’s not that people who make their dreams come true are better than you. The simple fact is that they set actionable goals. An advantage of having actionable goals is that you can easily track what you have done and what you haven’t done.
Here is are a few questions that people ask themselves when setting SMAART goals:
- Business: Did I close the deal or not?
- Machine learning and technology: Did I write the code or not?
- Entrepreneur: Did I make calls to my business sponsors or not?
The simple answer to these questions is a simple “yes or no.” They indicate the progress you have made so far.
SMART Goals for Healthy Eating
It’s common to find people whose goal is to eat clean. But how effective is this kind of goal? What should one do to eat clean? Eating clean is not a SMART goal because it is not specific, measurable, or even time-bound.
Your goal has to be SMART; it needs to make you feel motivated towards achieving it. It should make you feel uncomfortable or bad whenever you get back to your comfort zone. Including measurability and time in your diet, you will know what exactly you should eat at a given time. You’ll also see the amount of food you need to eat to achieve your goal. Here are a few SMART goals you can set for healthy eating.
Goals for fruits and vegetable
How many fruits and vegetables do you eat in a day? The best way to ensure you’re eating healthy is by eating the right amount of fruits and vegetables. That is because most fruits and vegetables are unprocessed, making them natural and clean. Therefore, they are good for your health since they are responsible for lowering blood pressure, boosting your immune system, and improving cell health.
Try to eat at least 5-7 portions of fruits and vegetables per day. For instance, as a start, you could make three portions of vegetables and two portions of fruits. You can gradually increase the number of fruits and vegetables you take per day to even 10 portions.
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Change of protein consumption
What type of proteins do you commonly use? While most people eat meat, it’s not the only protein source if you want to stay healthy. For instance, pork and beef have saturated fats, which don’t promote good health.
You need to try out lean sources of proteins such as legumes, soy, quinoa, or beans. They have almost all the essential amino acids that your body needs. You can set days in a week when you don’t eat meat at all, whether it is breakfast, lunch, or supper. For your breakfast, try out some natural yogurt, eggs, cheese, or other dairy sources. If you’re not allergic to nuts, you need to eat them regularly. You can also add some almonds to cereals or walnuts to porridge oats.
Trying out natural spices
Eating clean doesn’t mean that you eat tasteless meals. Instead of using additives to enhance your meal’s taste, use natural flavors like herbs and spices instead.
Nowadays, many natural herbs and spices are dried and are ready for use, just like other spices. You can use these spices, but you need to ensure they don’t have extra salt, chemicals, or additives. Although most of them don’t have additives, confirm that they are 100% natural.
Eat some meals at home
We all love eating out with friends and family members because it is fun. However, it’s hard to tell the type of ingredients or additives restaurants use. Unless a restaurant is expressly set up to promote clean eating, there are high chances you may not stick to your diet if you regularly eat at restaurants.
At home, however, you have total control of what you eat. You are the one who decides the ingredients, spices, herbs, and even the amount of food to eat. It’s essential that you also set the number of meals you should eat in a day.
Creating new recipes
Did you know you can create a whole new recipe to ensure you always stay healthy? Unhealthy eating is mostly associated with eating the same type of meals regularly – monotony. Although you may not need many recipes, you need to choose a few that will help you achieve your healthy eating goal. For instance, you can try one or two recipes every month.
Eventually, you’ll find that you’ve added these recipes to your monthly menu. You can then add some of them to your weekly schedule. A good thing about coming up with new and healthier recipes regularly is improving your cooking skills.
Eating healthy fat
Although you can stop eating processed foods, it may be impossible to stop eating fats. That’s because your body needs some amounts of fat to remain healthy. Note that the fats you’ll consume in this case need to be healthy.
Your body needs healthy fats to boost your immune system, as well as promote brain development. Nonetheless, you need to regulate the amount of healthy fats you consume within a day. Try to add little amounts of natural fats to your meals on a daily or weekly basis. Eat foods such as nuts, fish, and olives.
How to Set a SMART Goal for Weight Loss
Setting a SMART goal for weight loss is essential for your weight loss campaign. That’s because you need to have a plan that guides you in everything you do. The plan acts as a road map that you need to follow to get to your desired outcome. Having measurable and achievable goals can significantly make a difference.
Step 1: Dream
You need to first dream about the way you want to look at the end of your weight loss journey. Although exercising should not stop, you need to have something you look forward to within a particular time frame. Your dream creates a desire to start the process of setting a SMART goal in the first place.
Note that a desire to look like your friend or any other person can be your dream. Therefore, all you need is to believe that you can achieve your dream.
Step 2: Make a plan
What exactly do you need to do to lose weight? Make a plan that you need to follow to reach your goal. You’ll have to analyze your current behavior or habits and choose some you’ll have to improve.
Naturally, weight loss is achieved when an individual continually works to change or improve their habits. A good plan could be something like:
- Within three months, I want to decrease my meat consumption to once every two weeks, gradually.
The plan has all the qualities of a SMART goal because it’s time-bound, realistic, achievable, measurable, and specific.
Step 3: Stick to the plan
It’s relatively easy to come up with a plan for losing weight. Well, anybody can do that. However, many people fail because they don’t stick to a specific plan. As such, after making your plan, you need to stick to it. If you plan to do 20 push-ups every day, ensure you meet this goal regardless of the number of tasks you have within a day. It often takes far more time trying to figure out why not to accomplish those push-ups than it does just to complete them.
SMART Goals for Weight Loss You Can Adopt and Achieve
- Eat whole eggs for breakfast
- Drink water before meals
- Drink green tea
- Try intermittent fasting
- Take glucomannan supplements
- Reduce the amount of sugar you consume
- Reduce consumption of refined carbohydrates
- Go on a low-carbohydrate diet
- Use smaller plates
- Eat healthily and don’t diet
- Eat whole foods
- Beat food addiction
How to Improve Your Chances of Reaching Any Goal
Let’s face it. How often have you set your goals but failed to reach them? Many times, isn’t it? You’re not alone!
Many people set goals but fail to reach them due to various reasons. Previous failures can sometimes discourage you from setting future achievable and measurable goals. Here are 10 ways to improve your chances of reaching your goals.
Get the support you need
Turn your dream into a SMART goal
Your goal needs to be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. Regardless of your goals or dreams, you need to turn them into SMART goals. You may dream of owning a car in six months, but after thinking critically and considering that you only have one income source, you may decide to adjust the time frame to one year.
Although your dream will be delayed, you will achieve it since it is realistic. If you have always wanted to be an entrepreneur, researching the necessary things you require to meet your goal can help you turn your dream into a SMART goal. That is because it will increase your chances of achieving your goal.
Align your goal with your passion, purpose, and mission
Before you set a goal, take some time, and do soul-searching. Do you have a passion for the goal you want to achieve? Does it promote your life’s mission and purpose?
The answers to these questions will help you determine whether you will achieve your goal or not. As a rule of thumb, go for what you have passion for. Things that don’t promote your life’s purpose are bound to reduce your goal success rate.
For instance, you may want to get a job to buy your own home. However, if the available jobs in your neighborhood seem to go against your values, you have fewer chances of achieving your dreams even if you are hired.
Come up with a goal that inspires or encourages you to take action
You need to have a desire to reach your goal. Achieving your goal may be more hectic than you had earlier thought. You need to have inspiration when the hard and challenging times set in. That’s the only way you can overcome the obstacles you’ll encounter along the way.
If you don’t have the motivation and resilience, you may sometimes fail to take action on your goal. Therefore, be encouraged, not only when setting your goals but also throughout the process of trying to achieve them.
Write down the goal
As stated earlier, writing down your goal reminds you of the steps you need to take to achieve it. Besides acting as a roadmap to your success, writing something down means it can’t be easily changed or forgotten.
Sometimes, especially when you have several goals, you can forget one of them while trying to achieve others. Well, it’s not just about writing your goals on a piece of paper and then stashing it somewhere you might not even remember. Put it somewhere you can see – seeing is believing.
Develop inter-goal targets
Having inter-goal targets will hold you accountable for whatever you will do. Some goals take years, and the best way to remain on track is to break them down into smaller steps. Inter-goal targets can be advantageous since they act as a source of motivation.
For instance, if your target is to save up to $10 million within 10 years, you’ll probably celebrate if you realize you have saved $1.4 million in the first year of saving. This can even motivate you to save more to meet your goal within a shorter time.
Share the goal with your friends and family members
Sharing your goals with others creates a driving force that pushes you to meet them. You not only want to achieve your goals; you also don’t want to fail your friends and family members (or whoever you shared the information with.) Moreover, when other people are aware of your goals, they are more likely to encourage you to work towards them.
Sharing your goals can be handy when you want to develop healthy eating habits or even lose weight. For instance, if you can post your workout goals on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, your friends are more likely to encourage or even hold you accountable.
Take time every day to think about how good it will be to achieve the goal
You need to at least think about your goal once a week. Most successful people think about their dreams every day. You can take about 5 to 10 minutes of your day to imagine how great reaching your goal will feel. Just virtualize yourself working for that company, owning that posh car, closing that deal, or achieving any other goal.
Set a working environment
Ensure nothing distracts you from meeting your goal. If possible, create an environment that encourages you to work even harder. It’s generally too easy to get distracted and even forget about your goals. As such, if you have friends, family members, or other people that you feel may reduce your chances of achieving your goal, it would be best if you avoid them when possible.
For instance, if you have friends that you go out with every Friday, it would be best to avoid them on certain Fridays if you want to reduce your spending and save more.
Master your strengths
What are your strengths and weaknesses? Do you have any expertise, skills, or talent to accomplish your goal? Knowing your strengths and weaknesses not only encourages personal development; it also helps you set goals that you can achieve.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t set goals in areas you are weak at. In situations where you want to achieve goals in vulnerable areas, consider looking for help.
Taking action is the most important thing you can do to reach your goal. Even if it’s not an important goal, that small action will play a significant role in helping you achieve it.
For instance, if you want to lose weight, try a clinically-proven program like Noom. The free trial offer available today gives you the chance to learn how to lose weight for the last time because you’ll know how to keep it off for good.
How to Set a SMART Goal for New Years Questions & Answers
Here are some ideas for setting achievable goals in the new year: Rather than just setting a goal, make sure to also plan out how you will reach it. This could be something like coming up with a budget and savings plan if your goal is to save money. Similarly, create an exercise routine or meal plan if weight loss is one of your New Year’s goals. Additionally, commit to reading regularly or set aside time each day to practice gratitude and mindfulness. Put yourself out there by trying something new or learning a new skill outside of your comfort zone. And lastly, don’t forget to keep in touch with family and friends!