Being “S.M.A.R.T.” with Goal-Setting!

We are now slightly more than two weeks into 2018. And on January 1, many of us made promises to somehow better or change ourselves in the upcoming year. There are multiple ways to have resolutions — check out a cool SOVA blog here about setting New Year’s Intentions!


Often, resolutions have some type of goal or result that we want to achieve. A common New Year’s Resolution may be to lose weight, or to exercise more, or to save money. However, many people have difficulty in achieving their resolutions, which can make them feel pretty bummed out. Did you set a goal for 2018? How have you done so far? 

There’s an awesome acronym that can help us with setting good goals! S.M.A.R.T. stands for “Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely”. When goals are SMART, you are often more successful in achieving them.

Here is a great article from Michigan State University that talks about setting SMART goals. The basics are this:

Specific — What do I want to do? Where would I do it, and with whom? (ex. Instead of saying “I want to eat healthier”, say “I want to eat more vegetables and to eat less snacks”.)

Measurable — What am I counting as success? (ex. I want to lose 10 pounds. I want to exercise 3 times a week. I will save $100.)

Attainable — Make sure the goal is reasonable! Think about your personal schedule and what you have control over. If you don’t make your own meals, it may be difficult to increase the amount of vegetables you eat — but you may be able to decrease the unhealthy snacks! If you have a lot of work and school work, then saying you will exercise every day may be difficult, especially if you don’t exercise on any days — try setting a goal to exercise twice a week!

Relevant — Think about your priorities. Is this an important goal to have? Do you have the time and energy to commit to this goal? Sometimes our goals may conflict with each other, so it is important to plan out what we want to accomplish (and when we want to accomplish it by!). For example, I may want to save up money for a trip this summer, but this may take away from my ability to also save up money for a new cell phone.

Timely — Set yourself a realistic starting date and a realistic deadline! It can help to have a calendar or a planner to help schedule a deadline, and to give yourself multiple smaller deadlines (or mini-goals) in the buildup to your big goal.

What are your intentions or goals for this year? How have you managed thus far? How do they look when you set them up with “S.M.A.R.T.”? Let us know in the comments below!

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