If everyone who made New Year’s resolutions stood up, almost everyone would be standing. If everyone who kept their resolutions stood up, most of us would remain sitting.
Setting goals is smart; creating and following a strategic plan to achieve them is smarter. People often set overly ambitious goals. When they falter, they feel like giving up entirely.
Whether you want to lose weight, exercise more, spend quality time with family or achieve any goal, do what businesses do. Create a business plan that is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time‐bound; in other words, SMART.
Specific: Clearly state what you what to accomplish. Instead of saying ,“I will eat more fruits and vegetables,” say, “I will eat at least five servings of different fruits and vegetables a day.”
Measurable: Make sure you can measure your progress. If your ultimate goal is to walk four laps around a park, measure your progress as you proceed from walking one lap, then two, then three, then four.
Attainable: Avoid setting unrealistic goals. Saying, “I will lose 100 pounds,” is overwhelming. Saying, “I will lose 10 pounds” is more attainable. After you lose those first 10 pounds, you can set a goal to lose 10 more, then 10 more after that, and so on.
Relevant: Select a goal that matters to you. Your friend may be training for a triathlon, while you want to run a 5K. Do what works for you.
Time‐bound: Give yourself a timeframe. If you wish to quit smoking, don’t say, “I’ll quit tomorrow” or “I’ll quit eventually.” Instead, say, “I will quit by March 15, 2013.”
What do you want to do in 2013 to better your life? Be SMART and you’ll be successful!