What are SMART goals and how to set them

New goals can be exciting. You’re ready to make changes to improve yourself, you’re motivated to do what you’ve got to do to achieve this goal—so how do you get there? As we all know, New Year’s resolutions can be difficult to stick with, especially after the magic of the holidays wears off and life gets busy again. A great way to stick to goals that you want to achieve this year, is through practicing SMART goal setting!

What are SMART goals? SMART goals are a strategically thought out goals that are framed for success. SMART stands for…

Specific. Understanding what exactly you’re working towards gives you a better sense of what you need to accomplish. For example, if you want to read more this year, rather than just setting the goal at reading “more”, try to specify how many books you may want to read.

‘In 2020, I want to read more’                  

‘In 2020, I want to read 20 books’  

Measurable. Being able to track your progress can help you motivate yourself when you’re feeling a little down. Picking a goal that can be measured, with a clear beginning, middle and end, can show you that you are progressing, even if you may not feel it.

‘In 2020, I want to save money to go on a trip’      

‘ In 2020, I want to save $700 to go on a trip’

Action-Oriented. Help yourself when you’re making your resolutions and think of how you’re going to reach your goal. This can help you plan out your pathway to success.

‘I’m going to learn how to speak French’  

‘I’m going to sign up with DuoLingo and learn how to speak French’

Realistic. It can be really easy to reach for the stars when you’re thinking of your New Year’s resolutions. That can be great, but ensure that your goals are achievable and not unrealistic. Setting out goals that are too ambitious can make you feel like you’re not achieving anything if you don’t reach it. Remember to celebrate the small wins, and work towards a larger goal.

‘I’m going to run a 50 km marathon in March’                     

‘I’m going run a 10 km marathon in September’

Time-Bound. Set a deadline for yourself. Without a concrete timeline, goals can be easily pushed to the side when life gets in the way. Giving your goals a timeline makes it a priority in your busy life.

‘In 2020, I want to be able to do a handstand’

I’m going to do a handstand for the next family get-together’           

By considering these steps when planning out your goals for the year, you’re already giving yourself an advantage by being realistic with your goals. However, setting SMART goals is only the beginning of your journey! Change won’t happen overnight, but you’re well on your way. Wishing everyone a great start to the new year and term!

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