Believe it or not, it is that time of year where we all begin working on the resolutions we want to successfully achieve for 2017. If you’re anything like me, your resolutions will probably be the same ones you made for 2016 – and that’s because, if you’re anything like me, you didn’t quite achieve what you set out to do. That doesn’t mean that you have failed; it simply means it’s time to reevaluate and possibly redefine what your resolutions are.
Here’s our first resolution: Make S.M.A.R.T.-er resolutions. I know what you’re thinking: What does that even mean?? I’m so glad you asked! S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym. It stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time bound. These five guidelines are what is going to help us form and achieve realistic resolutions that we will be able to keep in 2017. Let’s break it down a little more to make sure we’re on the same page on how to create S.M.A.R.T. resolutions.
Key Steps to Making and Successfully Keeping Your 2017 Resolutions
S – Specific: Be specific about what you want. Being specific gives you more direction and more accountability. Stating you want to lose 10 pounds gives you a solid mark to reach unlike stating that you want to just lose weight. If you keep your goals vague, that gives you the opportunity to give up before seeing real change. It lets you off the hook, which drags you back into the cycle of ditching (and possibly regretting) the resolutions you created. If you’re unsure about whether or not your goals is specific enough, try answering these brief questions: Who, What, Where, When, Why. If you can answer all of those W-questions, you’re in good shape!
M – Measurable: Make your resolutions measurable. Be able to gauge if you are making progress or not. If you want to read more, create a list of books to read and begin checking them off, rather than just waiting to pick up more books. If you want to save money, create a budget and set a monetary goal to reach by a certain calendar date. Seeing progress is a sure fire way to keep you motivated!
A – Attainable: Creating attainable goals means creating goals you know you can achieve. Losing 50 pounds is possible, but it is not possible in a month. Giving yourself a reasonable time length to reach your desired goal not only builds your confidence and self worth, but also increases your chances of achieving what you set out to do. Attainable goals also means taking a look at what obstacles may arise on your journey and assessing whether or not you can overcome them in order to keep moving forward. Often, sharing your goals with a close friend or accountability partner can cause them to become more attainable in the long run. Working towards something with someone increases your enthusiasm and desire to follow through.
R – Relevant: Goals must be important to you, otherwise, you will not be motivated to achieve them. Creating a resolution simply because it is popular at the time will not benefit you in the long run. If there is some type of internal struggle between you and a goal you’ve set, then it may not be what you need to focus on. Take the time to really ask yourself why you are striving for this particular thing. Consider how this goals fits into your every day life, or if it will be beneficial for your future.
T – Time bound: Choose a time frame to complete this goal. Deadlines motivate people. Set check points for yourself to see your progress. Create goals for both long term and short term results. Having a time frame for your goals creates accountability for you AND, by setting check points, you have created smaller, more easily attainable goals that serve as motivation to keep going. Check points also give you a chance to reevaluate your progress. Maybe things will take a little longer to achieve, and that’s ok! Life happens. Move your end date and keep working hard! Keeping your timeline flexible not only gives yourself grace, but can also serve as rejuvenation for you to continue your journey to success!
Resolutions can be daunting. There is so much negative talk surrounding them. Let’s make this year different! Let’s be S.M.A.R.T.-er with our resolutions and prove all the nay-sayers wrong by pushing through those first few weeks of change and continuing on to a more fruitful and healthy lifestyle! You can do it! If you would like the support counseling can provide when trying to reach your 2017 goals and resolutions we would love to help! You can contact me at Amy Wine Counseling Center here or at 832-421-8714. Cheers to making 2017 a year to remember!!