Whether it’s January 1st or July 1st, if you’re goal setting, there are some strategies to make you more successful at writing and reaching them. Enter “SMART” goals:

S = Specific. Objectives and steps should be as simple and well-defined as is reasonable. Decide exactly when, how long, what, how many, etc, will take place. Keep it simple.

M = Measurable. Include concrete limits to define when you’ve reached your goal.

A = Action-oriented. Instead of focusing on an emotion or thought, construct goals around a concrete habit. This is where we have control.

R = Realistic. This is a big one. Some of us have bigger goals than others. Take stock of how far away you currently sit from your ultimate destination, and be honest about how long it will take to get there. Each goal should be an achievable step that inches you toward that destination.

T = Time-based. Set a time frame that your goal will be accomplished. This keeps us from spinning our wheels. Didn’t reach your goal in the designated time frame? Either repeat or revise.

Examples: This week, I will add a protein to breakfast at least 4 of the 7 days. This month, I will exercise for at least 30 minutes at least 3 days weekly all 4 weeks.

Pro tip: If you love making your goals a big deal, the goal board, the post-its, the reminders, the daily morning journaling…this is all awesome. BUT, it is not required. For the more low-key folks, goal-setting can simply be taking a day each week to reflect on what you achieved the previous week, and saying to yourself, “I’m going to take my lunch to work this week one extra day,” or “I’m going to bring my breakfast to work at least Monday through Wednesday so I stop skipping so much.”  

 Necessary: CONSTANTLY reevaluate. Get comfortable with regularly checking in with yourself to see where you’re doing great, and where not so great. We’re human, we’re imperfect, and self-improvement takes some degree of being okay with that. Be flexible and ready to revise the plan where needed to keep progressing forward.

Wishing you all the best in the New Year!