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Accomplish Your New Year’s Resolution by Setting a SMART Goal: Five Steps to Set Yourself Up for Success

Updated: Mar 9



by Jodi Merritt, December 26, 2023


It’s that time of year where we all think about New Year’s resolutions … how we want to be healthier, more in shape, well rested, or some better version of ourselves. Research shows that 9% of people who make resolutions follow through with them. Those odds are not in our favor. Here are some things to consider when making a New Year’s resolution to help us be successful.


We’re going to focus on the SMART method when thinking about creating a resolution.


S is for specific – we want to create a specific goal. Instead of wanting to be healthier, maybe we resolve to get eight hours of sleep per night or meditate each morning.


M is for measurable – if we want to journal, set it up to include a clear measure of completion, such as I want to journal for ten minutes, four times per week.


A is for achievable – we want to set ourselves up for success, so losing 80 pounds may create a feeling of defeat before we begin. Losing 1 pound per week creates the ability for us to be successful and feel small, ongoing successes each week.


R is for relevant – we want the goal to be something we are invested in and that matters to us. Setting a resolution is something that needs to matter to a degree that we are willing to work for it.


T is for time-based – we want a time frame to achieve our goal in. This can be an overall goal that is broken down into smaller time frames. If we are saving money and want $1,000 by June 1, we have created a time-based frame, and may even want to break down how much that is each month or week to track progress.


Regardless of what resolution we choose to focus on, we need to give ourselves space to be imperfect. Getting off track is normal and it doesn’t mean we need to abandon our goals. It means we need to be kind with ourselves, and continue to do our best, even when it means less than perfect.


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