We have always thought that the beginning of the year is when we can make resolutions and goals but if you think about it we should always work with SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely) goals to perform to our peak. When done realistically, creating a resolution and achievable goal can be a good, productive way to set goals and intentions for the new year and new month. Deciding to make positive changes, like ditching a bad habit and adopting a healthier one, is always a good idea one we should see through to the end of the year. Often, what we don’t realize is that the problem isn’t that we aren’t capable of sticking to our resolutions. The problem is that we need to do a better job making pragmatic goals that are actionable and achievable. Otherwise, it’s almost like setting yourself up to fall short.
Experts who work with people to get past barriers and make lasting changes, know that there are all sorts of things that can hold people back from reaching their goals. They also know that some small mindset shifts and behavior changes can make a big difference in whether or not you’re able to stick with resolution or goal. Making a SMART goal is a great tactic to increase your chances of actually sticking with it. Many are times we set goals at the beginning of the month like exercising, saving money, changing eating habits but we don’t stick to our plan, implementing this can be easy if you use the SMART tactic.
Tips to help you make practical goals:
Make smaller resolutions.
The first key to success is zeroing in on one goal, not two or three. It’s easy to think, you are going to spend less, work out more, and get promoted. All are great aspirations, but creating a resolution that is too big sets you up for failure. And failure makes you frustrated and lose hope of achieving other goals you had set.
Write down your goals.
Writing down goals makes you feel a sense of responsibility and makes you have a much higher chance of accomplishing them. Post your goals on places in your home that you frequently visit or on your office desk, these will frequently remind you of the things you want to achieve by the end of the time set.
Stack your habits.
Attaching your goal to another activity that you do every day is called habit stacking. It makes it easier to stick with a new endeavor. But the premise that having a constant cue will make it easier to train yourself to make a behavior a habit isn’t a new concept in psychology, and it really can make a difference.
Access yourself regularly.
Reassessing your goal throughout the week and month is essential. Once you start making changes, you may find your original goal was a little unrealistic. Instead of sticking with it once you find it’s probably not possible, feel free to tweak the goal as you see fit. Look into your lifestyle and revise your goals to make sure they fit in, it makes it easy for you to achieve your desired goals because you don’t have to adjust your life.
Celebrate small wins.
If your focus is just on the end game, it’s easy to feel discouraged when progress plateaus around the one-month mark. If your goal is to read one book every month, don’t save the party for the finish line. After every chapter rewards yourself with lunch or a coffee date from your favorite coffee shop. This will make you motivated to want to read more chapters.
Above all believe in yourself to accomplish it. If you know you’re capable of making your desired change, then believe it wholeheartedly. If not rethink how you can phrase or reformat your resolution, to be something that you’re confident you can achieve. Finally, when you reach your goal, it’s time to celebrate, but it’s also time to plan how you’ll stick with it moving forward.