How To Keep Your New Year’s Resolution with SMART Goals
Have you been making new year’s resolutions in the past and they just don’t seem to stick?
Learn how to make SMART goals to help you achieve your new year’s resolutions with success! I will also share a list of ideas for moms who are looking for ideas on what goals to set for 2021.
Make 2021, your jumpstart year towards your best self!
This Year Is Going To Be Different
I often struggled with new year’s resolutions. I didn’t think much about them except for maybe the first week or two of the year. I’d come up with a long list of goals I wanted to finish throughout the year and maybe place a reminder here and there to keep me on target. But usually, a few weeks in I would have lost my list or forgotten that I even had goals for the year once everyone stops talking about them.
“By recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be. Put your future in good hands—your own.” —Mark Victor Hansen
I would get a second chance as Lent would come around which I would tend to be more specific and direct on one goal I wanted to achieve in the 40 days. I was much more successful with that specific goal and timeframe. It also helped to have reminders each Sunday.
In more recent years, since diving into self-improvement, I have been intrigued about how to make SMART goals.
Let me share how this tool works.
What are SMART Goals?
SMART Goals stand for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based. They are the main points of each step you can take in the planning process. By taking these steps you can plan out your goals with clarity and efficiency.
I will go into how to make SMART Goals more deeply and share examples further on in the post. First, let me dive in more into why planning is such an important part of the goal planning process.
Don’t Skip the Planning Process
When we skip the planning process, we might find that we:
Poorly outline our goals
Don’t set a completion time
Don’t have the means to complete the goal
Don’t feel a strong enough desire to finish
When we don’t set clear goals and expectations, our good intentions can often fall through the cracks. Maybe we criticize ourselves with negative self-talk and make ourselves feel worse about the blunder. Some of us feel like that window of opportunity has passed because it is no longer the ‘New Year’, so we don’t try to pick up where we left off.
“Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.” —Pablo Picasso
Others might find they procrastinate or never getting started. They might be overwhelmed with ideas of what needs to be changed that they set out to do them all and crash from burnout.
There are many ways that our plans can fail. But when we invest the time at the beginning towards a well-developed plan, and a powerful ‘why’, we can set ourselves up for success!
When you learn how to make SMART Goals, you can plan your New Years’ resolutions to avoid the typical pitfalls that could slow you down.
Goal Ideas for Moms
So, the first thing you need for your SMART GOAL is to have a specific goal in mind. If you haven’t thought about it, I have a list of goal ideas for moms to share with you. You may find one that resonates with you.
- Increase Productivity
- Restructure your homeschooling routine
- Be more present with the kids
- Cook more meals
- Make time to explore a new hobby
- Sign up for an online course
- Read to the children
- Get fit
- Do a clean sweep before husband comes home
- Be in better touch with the family
- Drink more water
- Practice gratitude daily
- Create a solid morning routine
- Start a regular self-care routine
- Prepare healthier meals
- Pay off debt
- Invest in retirement
- Read a book a month
- Hug and kiss your children each day
- Spend more quality time with your children
- Schedule family meetings weekly
- Schedule a board game night weekly
- Have dinner ready on time
“If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.” –Zig Ziglar
Know Your ‘Why’ – Like on the Back of Your Hand
The most important thing to keep in mind when choosing a goal, is you want to have a big enough ‘why’. If it’s just an ‘it would be nice’ type of goal, you are not going to get far. Go deep into your why. Questions you can ask yourself:
How would your life change if you accomplished this goal?
Does it align with your values?
How will it affect those around you?
Is it the most important goal I have right now? Or is there something else?
I want you to dive deep into your ‘why’ and think about why it matters to you. Write down your reasons and place them somewhere you can refer back to them. When it gets tough and you lose your motivation, coming back to your ‘why’ is going to be your support. You may need to remind yourself why this is important for you and worth pursuing.
How to make S.M.A.R.T. Goals
Now I will get into the planning process when creating your S.M.A.R.T. Goals for the New Year.
What specifically do you want to achieve and how you are going to do it? What is your ‘why’? What is your plan? What are the obstacles that might get in the way? How will you overcome them?
Example: I will work on having a more positive mindset and let go of any criticism and negativity. Why? I want to have a household where we can build each other up, be kinder to one another, and I also believe it will help us with our own inner talk.
This is most important to me because I have noticed that my negative thoughts and statements affect my overall mood and the way I interact with others. I am going to set up my environment for success with a couple of mini-posters as reminders and aids to help me rephrase my words when I miss the mark.
I will start each morning by naming three things I am grateful for. This will start my day with positivity as well as remind me of my goal.
“A goal properly set is halfway reached.” —Zig Ziglar
How are you going to measure progress for yourself?
Example: Each night I will write in my journal and write down how I am doing. I will write at least one example down of when I reframed a thought or what rephrased what I had said to make it positive. I will also check-in at the end of each month for an overall look at my progress.
“Your goal should be just out of reach, but not out of sight.”– Denis Waitley and Remi Witt
Is this goal reasonable? Can it be done on your own?
Example: It will be hard to not say something when I am starting to stress out. If I feel I need to vent some negativity as a situation arises, I will do it in a healthier manner such as writing it in a journal.
“The greater danger for most of us isn’t that our aim is too high and miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.”– Michelangelo
Is your goal relevant? This is going to be your ‘why’ I discussed earlier. Be sure to look at the big picture. Will achieving this goal help you with your long-term goals? Will it help you on becoming your best self? Is it going to take away from any other goals you might be trying to achieve?
Example: This will help me towards my ideal self, as well as help my children to be kinder to themselves and others in the words they use. It will help me achieve other goals more effectively since I will struggle less with things such as self-doubt, low self-esteem, etc.
“It’s better to be at the bottom of the ladder you want to climb than at the top of the one you don’t.”– Stephen Kellogg
What is a reasonable time frame for you? Be reasonable with yourself. You know yourself and your environment better than anybody. Do you usually set reasonable time frames for yourself? Or do you tend to fall behind because you undercut yourself and get overwhelmed perhaps quitting altogether? Consider all these and set a time for when you would like to have it completed.
Example: I will work on achieving a more positive mindset in 45 days.
“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”– Confucius
When Things Go Wrong – What To Do
So, let’s say you are confident on how to make SMART goals and you have the your new years goal planned out before you. You have been as detailed as possible and you think it is going to work. But it doesn’t. THINK. In the past, if you got to this point would you continue pursuing your goal? Or would this be a moment of defeat?
“If the plan doesn’t work, change the plan, but never the goal.”– Unknown
If you run into a snag in your plan that you spent a lot of time on, be easy on yourself. Remember to practice self-compassion and aim for progress, not perfection. Maybe the timing was off? Or maybe you found you need support to achieve this. Whatever the case may be, just go back to the plan and adjust it. Don’t give up! Remind yourself of your ‘why’ and why this is important for you to follow through. Re-adjust your smart goal so it is achievable and keep going.
How to Make SMART Goals For Your New Year’s Resolutions
To wrap things up on how to make a smart goal, when choosing your goal, choose one that has a strong enough ‘why’ and that is the most relevant to you. How is it going to help you progress to your best self?
Knowing your ‘why’ will help you if you begin to struggle with your goal can be your saving grace. Create S.M.A.R.T. Goals to effectively plan out how you are going to achieve this goal. Include each step of the planning process making sure your goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timebound.
And lastly, if something in your plan falls through, don’t give up. Instead, show yourself some self-compassion, re-adjust your plan for success, and continue! And when you complete a goal, repeat the process for continual progress towards your best self!
“A year from now you may wish you had started today.”– Karen Lamb
2021 is your year! I can feel it, can you?
Practice it, model it, achieve it!
Let’s make it official. What is the first and most important goal you set out to pursue this year?