A SMART New Year



No matter your resolve, January 1st can be one of the most inspiring dates of the year to set new goals. The New Year brings with it a fresh perspective, an allowance for change, and motivation to address old patterns or begin something new. Every year, many of us reflect on the past twelve months and contemplate resolutions. With all that positive momentum and the best intentions, why are resolutions notoriously difficult to keep?


The issue isn’t that we are unable to achieve our goals- it’s more about how we create them. Abstract or intangible goals can lead to feelings of pressure, anxiety, and even failure when unmet. SMART goals help us break those big dreams down into smaller, measurable goals and help us build muscle memory around positive routines.

Below are some tips to create actionable items to achieve your goals for the New Year and beyond using this framework. 


SMART stands for: 


Specific- The goal you set should be specific, and you shouldn’t be able to misinterpret or confuse it. What needs to be accomplished? 


I want to gain a better sense of control over my emotions. 


Measurable- The goal should allow you to track your progress with measurable benchmarks. 


I will journal my thoughts three times per week and review my entries weekly. 


Attainable- The goal should be realistic. Safeguarding the achievability of your goal is much easier when you’re the one setting it.


I have the self awareness to understand I am ready to better control my emotions.


Relevant- A relevant goal relates to your values, dreams, and ambitions.


I have begun seeing a therapist once per week and have related wellness goals. 


Timely- There must be a target date for completion, such as three weeks or one year.


By the time I move away for college in 6 months, I would like to feel in control of my emotional state. 

What are the benefits of SMART goals?

Ensuring your goals have all of the SMART components can take time, but the value you get from SMART goals outweigh the additional time spent on the goal-setting process. Goals shouldn’t be something you set and forget—they’re a key part of planning and becoming who and what you want to be. By setting SMART goals, you will have clarity towards success, a clear roadmap and a finish line. You will know exactly what you want to achieve and when you expect to achieve it. You’ve verified that these goals are realistic and achievable. You’ll be able to measure them to see if you hit them or not. When you accomplish your given tasks, SMART goals help you evaluate your success.

Putting these components together gives you a strong goal-setting plan that is detailed and can keep you on track. The SMART goal framework provides a system of self-accountability with unambiguous goals and benchmarks to signify progress. Celebrate the wins along the way as you successfully complete steps towards your ultimate goal!

Developing a plan of action can be difficult. Many of us struggle with realistic goal setting, and that’s okay! At LifeTutors, our coaches can guide you through the process of visualizing those big goals and mapping out a framework that’s SMART for you. Call us to talk about it 828-747-1542. No goals are too big or too small. Happy New Year and GOOD LUCK!

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