The hustle and bustle of the holiday season will soon be over, leaving us with considerably lighter bank accounts and slightly tighter waistbands. This is the time that we reflect on the year that has passed and look forward to the months to come. Many of us set our New Year’s resolutions but, honestly, how many of us keep them? The problem is that we often set goals that are too lofty, too broad, and too hard to achieve in a short amount of time. If we truly want to grow and improve in the coming new year, we need to set S.M.A.R.T. Goals. What does the acronym S.M.A.R.T. stand for? Read on and find out!
S – SPECIFIC
The goals we set for ourselves need to be clearly defined. Let’s say that our goal is to become more active.
WHAT are we going to do and WHERE are we going to do it … walk the dog around the block, run 5KM on the waterfront trail, or workout at the gym?
WHEN are we going to do it? Set some specific times that really work with our schedules.
WHO will be coming with us or keeping us accountable?
WHY is this important to us?
M – MEASURABLE
We need to clearly define how we will know when our goal is achieved. If the goal is to pay down a debt, have we succeeded when we make the first payment or when the balance is zero? If we are trying to lose weight, are we looking for a certain number on the scale or just when our jeans fit comfortably again? Track your progress along the way with calendars, charts and lists so the results can be easily seen.
We often set ourselves up for failure with a goal that is just not attainable. Very few of us will become millionaires by the end of the year or win an Oscar. We need to be sure that our goal matches our current skills, abilities, and realities. If it doesn’t, how will we make it happen?
R – RELEVANT
Is our goal actually something that makes sense for us right now? Striving to pay off debt when we can’t currently make ends meet every month might not be the best choice. Perhaps a better, more relevant goal, would be to join a Simcoe County Circles program to increase our social capital and make next year the year we pay off our bills.
T – TIME-BOUND
Most of us work best under pressure when we have a deadline to meet. Our goal should have a clearly defined timeline. Where do we want to be a week from now, 3 months, 6 months, the end of next year? Again, we need to make the deadlines realistic. If we’re taking things day by day, then we need to make our intentions daily.
We could all benefit from a S.M.A.R.T. goal to improve our lives. If your goal is to achieve economic stability, Simcoe County Circles can help.