The new year brings a whole world of new possibilities, chances of committing to new goals, and all those promises of doing things differently, like not to postpone studying to binge watch that new show on Netflix, to eat healthier, to exercise, and even to spend less time on social media.
Faster than we write our new year resolutions, and feel that sense of accomplishment, even faster we tend to forget them, and according to FranklinCovey, a time management firm, one third of the resolutioners will be frustrated before the end of January.
In this post we are going to focus in a well-known concept of project management, which is the SMART goals concept. This concept will help you develop and keep your new year's resolutions, and if you want to learn more about it, go to the original post of the New York Times, from where we derived this post, just click here.
Specific: That means that your goal, should be as specific as possible. For example, instead of a goal that says “I want to lose weight”, the goal should be “I want to lose 5 pounds in two months”, that directly relate to the next SMART concept.
Measurable: Like in the example above, when talking about weight loss goals, it is easy to measure your progress, you just have to use a scale, but all your goals should be able to be measured one way or another. For example, if you are committing to stop smoking, count the number of cigarettes you smoke in a day, and try to reduce that number every day. Keep a journal of your progress.
Achievable: By thinking about your goals as achievable, that doesn’t mean that they can’t be long term goals, like saving money for retirement. It just has to be reasonable relative to the amount of time you set to achieve that goal. For example, saving money for retirement is not a one year goal, but putting aside $100 dollar every month can turn into an amazing vacation trip by the end of the year.
Relevant: Your goal is only going to last past the one month mark if on top of all other things, it is relevant to you. If any of your goals are related to what you think society wants you to be, or your family thinks is best for you, or if they are fed by anger, remorse or jealousy, then they probably won’t last long. This is the moment to think about what you want to change in your life, not what the media or your friends tell you. Look inside and find that relevant change you want to see in your life.
Time-bound: Time-bound means that your goal should be realistic. Be honest about the amount of time you are going to dedicate in fulfilling your goals, trace a plan, put first-things first and go ahead. Remember that when trying to create a habit, like planning your budget monthly, or stopping a bad habit like smoking “you’re planning for the next decade, not the next couple of months.” like said by Charles Duhigg, the writer of “The Power of Habit”