Welcome to the New Year! This can be an exciting, and sometimes stressful, time of change and new beginnings. Many people will take this opportunity to create resolutions and goals to influence themselves through the rest of the year. Goals come in different shapes and sizes and there are equally as many reasons to make them. Knowing how to create strong goals, is the first step in achieving them. Please read below for tips on creating strong goals and an example to help you get started.
Making SMART Goals
According to Merriam-Webster, a goal is “the end toward which effort is directed.” There are many ways to create goals and one common technique is the SMART method. SMART is an acronym that first appeared in the journal, “Management Review” in 1981. The SMART method stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time bound.
Define your goal and make it specific. This will help keep you focused and prevent you from being overwhelmed.
Example: I will prioritize consistent self-care.
Define how you will track progress. After defining your goal, what will your milestones look like?
Example: I will do a minimum of 3 self-care activities each week.
Make goals that make sense for where you are right now. Your goal should be something that you can reasonably accomplish.
Example: I currently practice self-care on an inconsistent basis and have the time and ability to practice more consistently.
What is your reason for making this goal? Goals work best when they align with your values and long-term objectives.
Example: I want to better focus on myself and my mental wellbeing.
What is a realistic timeline for this goal? Is it weeks, months, or even a year from now? Once you find the answer, physically put the goal date on your schedule as a visual reminder.
Example: I will commit to this plan for 1 month. Once this time frame has been completed, I will reflect on my progress and prepare my next goal.
It can be hard to make and keep track of goals, but that does not mean that you are alone in getting back on track. If you are looking for help with your goals, our licensed therapists are ready to help. Call us at 513-846-5283 or check out our Contact Us page and we can help you get started.
Guide on how to write smart goals (with examples). (n.d.). Retrieved December 20, 2022
Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Goal definition & meaning. Merriam-Webster. Retrieved December 20, 2022
The New York Times. (n.d.). How to make (and keep) a new year’s resolution. The New York Times. Retrieved December 20, 2022