HAPPY NEW YEAR! It’s officially 2020, and the new year is so shiny and bright! I love the start of a new year. It always holds so much promise for what’s ahead: a chance to say goodbye to all the things in the previous year that didn’t serve me, and a clean slate to really focus on my goals that I want to accomplish in the upcoming months.
But if you’re not careful (and please keep in mind when I say “you” it’s totally generic and I’m mostly speaking just from my own dumb experience), and you set TOO BIG of goals, you can get easily frustrated when you don’t accomplish them right away. And then what happens is you end up giving up on whatever that goal was because it was “too difficult.” So instead of playing into the same old traps that you (I) fall into every year, why not make a pact to start off 2020 a little smarter and with a little more in your back pocket to back you up when times get tough?
No matter what your resolution (or goal) is for this year, here are some ways that you can make them just a little more realistic and totally more achievable.
Setting SMART Goals
Setting a SMART goal doesn’t just mean that you’re making better decisions in your life 😉 It means you’re going into this goal with a solid, fool-proof plan.
SMART Goals stand for:
A specific goal is just as it sounds: specific. It is so clearly defined that anyone would be able to understand what the goal means. When writing down your goals and outlining your plan, be as specific as possible. Describe in detail what the goal is, why it’s important to you, when you want to achieve it by, and all the steps you’re going to take in order to accomplish the goal. Start off the new year by making your goals easy to achieve because you’ve clearly identified the path you’ll need to take in order to get there.
How can you determine if you’ve been successful if you have no way of measuring the goal? No matter what that goal is, you need to quantify it in order to be able to attain it. New Years is generally the time of year where most people are setting weight loss goals. They’re joining gyms, they’re starting diets, and they’re wanting to shed pounds and gain confidence in the new year. Those can be great goals to work on, but they’re also easy to give up on when you don’t see results right away. Set yourself up for success from day one when you are SPECIFIC and able to measure those goals. For example, instead of saying “I’m going to exercise more,” say “I’m going to go to the gym at least 3 days per week.” Instead of saying “I’m going to cook more and eat out less” – define how many days per week you’re okay with eating out vs. staying in and cooking. Set numbers to your goals so you have a way of knowing if you’re succeeding or need to change your tactics.
When you set an attainable goal, you’re setting a goal that is challenging but not so challenging that it’ll be impossible to achieve. You’ll want to stretch yourself, and move outside your comfort zone. But don’t do it in a way that you give up right away because it was too intense. Do more than join a gym this year. Join a gym and then GO to the classes. Meet with a personal trainer. Talk about your nutrition. Set realistic goals, but don’t add so many new things on right away that you become overwhelmed and give up before you’ve even started.
Realistic goals are those that you are both willing and able to work toward. Any goal can be realistic as long as you believe you can achieve it. You can also consider these to be relevant goals. Does the goal you’re working toward fit your life and your vision? Is it aligned with your mission and what you’re hoping to overall achieve? If it’s not in focus with what you want, it might be time to drop it. Instead, set goals that excite you and make you want to be better.
Give your goal a date of completion. Not only does this kick your butt in gear because you know you have a deadline, but it helps keep you accountable and makes that goal easier to attain because you’re dedicating the right amount of steps in order to get the dang thing done.
You can even take it a step further and outline goals for the foreseeable future. Ask yourself:
- What am I hoping to accomplish in the next 3-6 months?
- What am I hoping to accomplish in the next year?
- What are my goals five years from now?
- What is my ultimate dream that I want to achieve?
Remember, there are no right or wrong goals to have. They just have to be true to you, invigorate you, and keep you excited while you’re working to crush them. It doesn’t mean the road there will be easy, but I can promise it will be so worth it once you make it to that finish line.
Download your own FREE SMART Goal Planner and Habit Tracker when you enter your email below! Let’s crush some goals together in 2020!
Natasha Funderburk is a wife, #boymom, NASM-Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Nutrition Consultant, and ACE-Behavior Change Specialist. When not watching her son play baseball, she can be found on various writing platforms, coaching her clients to live their best lives, drinking all the coffee, and conducting living-room dance parties.