Make your New Year’s Resolution goals S.M.A.R.T.
Every year comes to an end, and there we are, standing in the New Year, making promises and goals saying: "This is the year I will do this…" But do we ever really follow through with those goals and promises we make to ourselves?
Most will say no! Some won't even make it a week before giving up on their resolution list. And if you're like me, you just opt-out of making that list because you know yourself, and at this point, it's just silly.
But what if I could tell you it is possible to keep those promises we set for ourselves, and achieve our resolution goals?
The secret? Make them S.M.A.R.T.
By setting specific goals, that can be measured, goals that are attainable, relevant to your life, and finally giving them a time limit, resolutions we set for ourselves can be attained.
Now I know some may say, "I always make smart goals!" But are they? Do you give yourself a timeline to complete them? How do you know you are making progress? Is this something you can do every day? Answering questions like this will define your goals and help you better understand if this will fit your life.
S.M.A.R.T. goals have to be well defined and laid out so you have details of what you're doing, how you are doing it, how will you be tracking your progress, and when you need to complete it by. The more in-depth you make your goals and promises the better chances you have of being successful.
Now we have our guidelines set, and how we are going to track them, now let’s look at some attainable resolution goals that you, and I can successfully achieve.
Pick up a Hobby
This may sound silly, but having a hobby can be very beneficial. I have plenty of hobbies, but I don’t make time for them, I always find ways to do something else. Or Netflix. Admit it, you do this too. 😊
- Having a hobby can give you more confidence and a sense of motivation.
- A hobby can be a creative outlet.
- Hobbies keep your brain engaged.
- Having a hobby gives you something to look forward too.
- It can also be something you are passionate about.
Starting a hobby whether it be old or new, is a great resolution goal because it can be a way to relax, or make time for yourself. Choose something your passionate about, or a way to let your creative juices flow. Pick up something new, like learning a language or photography.
Once chosen to find a way to make time for your hobby, and schedule that time. Put it in writing so you can see on paper, what you are aiming for.
Now I know you are thinking, “This seems too simple,” or “I’m an adult, I don’t have time to play.” But that’s the point. We as adults over-work and push ourselves so much that we forget to stop and play once in a while. Studies have shown that adults who make time for fun, or playtime, have increased productivity, creativity, and feelings of well-being.
First, find out what fun means to you. Is it reading, knitting, crafting, or going for a run? Make a list of things that you find fun, and once you have that, start scheduling time for fun!
Another idea, make a "Play Drawer". Inside put things like board games, puzzles, a deck of cards, or if you’re from Wisconsin, Cribbage. Other ideas, adult coloring books, Legos, or even Play-Doh! Yes, they make it for adults, but the kid version is just as fun! When you have a few minutes to spare before supper or in-between loads of laundry, go into the drawer and have some fun!
Read More Books!
This is a tough one to try and stay with all year, mainly because technology has wiggled its way into most aspects of everyone's life like streaming TV, games, social media, and lots of other things. Reading a book just seems less entertaining compared to everything else out there, and trust me, I am one to be sucked into the void of Netflix and Hulu. But reading books has many benefits that I feel some have forgotten.
- Reading for just 6 minutes can reduce stress by as much as 68%, and can reduce stress better and faster than other activities like listening to music, going for a walk, or having a cup of tea.
- You gain knowledge. Reading can give you a variety of knowledge that can be used when you least expect it.
As Dr. Seuss once wrote:
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
- Reading expands your vocabulary.
- Reading helps you become a better writer.
- Reading gives mental stimulation.
Reading is also a good way to just lose yourself in a good book, and just enjoy something so creative, or educational, depending on your taste.
So, pick a set of books, or if you’re like me, grab books from your shelf that you said you would read (from like 10 years ago) and read them! Make a timeline. One book a month, or if you’re a slower reader like myself: a book every two months. Make a goal, give yourself a timeline, and execute!
This is a common resolution for most people, but I feel is also the easiest to say “well maybe next year, this year just won’t work.” This is ourselves, making excuses because we haven’t made clear enough goals. Maybe you can't go this year, that's fine, but make a plan, figure out how much you will need, and start setting aside money for that trip! My brother planned his trip to Japan 2 years before going, and things came up and they had to adjust their plans a few times, like having a baby! But that didn't stop him from taking his trip!
Make a goal, set it, plan it, give yourself deadlines, and work towards it. Anything is possible if broken down into attainable goals!
Traveling is a great resolution and an adventure! If you have the opportunity, take it! And maybe it isn't for Japan, maybe your trip is going up to the lake for the week, or visiting a place in your state with the best burgers or ribs! Traveling doesn't mean you have to leave the country; it just means taking time to go see something new that you haven't done before!
This is as simple as it sounds! Just get up and move, go walk the dog or cat… no judgment here! Take a walk with your kids, or go for a bike ride. If the weather is nice, play outside, or go for a hike. Take a dance class or an exercise class at the gym!
Anything to get yourself moving, and stop being sedentary.
Living a sedentary life is unhealthy and you’re more likely to be overweight, and you have a higher risk for depression and other health risks. Scary yes, but think, just an extra 20-30 minutes a day of movement can help with all of that!
All these goals listed above can be S.M.A.R.T. goals, you just have to define them and how you will achieve them. Put it in writing, and post it somewhere, where you will see it every day as your reminder. Nothing is impossible if you have a well set, defined goals with attainable time frames, and sometimes, your goals could be all geared to one bigger goal!