Happy New Year!
Many of us take this time of year to reflect upon the last twelve months. For some, this brings peace and a smile to your face. For others, this time of year brings a heaviness and a sense of hopelessness. Whichever category or wherever on the spectrum you find yourself, we hope the new year brings more opportunities for you. An opportunity to maintain the areas of life you’re enjoying or opportunities to change the areas that aren’t as life giving.
As you’re making your New Year’s resolutions and goals, remember to keep them SMART:
Specific - Be specific with your goals.
Instead of saying “I’d like to lose weight” maybe you could revise your goal to “I’d like to decrease my body fat from 26% to 19%.
If you’d like to spend more time with your family, maybe your specific goal could be to have a family game night once a month for the next year.
Measurable - How will you know you’ve reached your goal?
Instead of saying, I'd like to learn to cook more homemade meals this year, maybe you could create a goal of mastering one homemade meal each month. You’ll know when you’ve mastered the meal when your spouse says it tastes good and you no longer need to read the recipe to cook it.
Perhaps you’d like to save more money this year. One way to measure this goal is to watch your savings account. What number are you trying to reach and maintain?
Attainable - Is this goal something that you can achieve?
Can you master five different instruments in one week? Probably not. However, can you learn one new instrument in ten months? Most likely!
Are you trying to fight less with your significant other? That’s a great goal! However, if you’re trying to never fight with your spouse ever again, that might not be quite as attainable. Instead, maybe your goal could be about how you fight. You can choose to always be respectful during a disagreement. You can choose to not raise your voice or to always tackle the problem and not insult the person you’re arguing with. You can also choose to never let a fight last more than twenty four hours, etc.
Realistic - Is this goal realistic?
Training to run a marathon may be a realistic goal. However, training to run a marathon while you’re eight months pregnant may not be.
Are you trying to sleep more? Creating a goal of sleeping at least seven hours a day may be more realistic than trying to sleep eighteen hours a day.
Time bound - What’s the time frame to accomplish this goal?
Wanting to learn a new language is great, but when do you want to learn it by? Perhaps you can learn fifty new verbs in one hundred days?
Perhaps you’re trying to travel more. How many different places do you want to visit and when do you want to travel by?
I hope this acronym was helpful for you as you're creating your goals. The examples provided were to help illustrate the goals and in no way were they meant to be all encompassing.
From us at The Carlton Center, we’d like to wish you a Happy New Year!
Wishing you much love, peace, and joy in this upcoming season. As always, if you’re in need of support and would like us to walk alongside of you as you journey through a tough season, please don’t hesitate to contact us for an appointment! We would consider it an honor to walk with you.
*SMART goals was first developed by George T. Duran.
Written by Jessica Hwang, ALMFT