Setting SMART Goals for the New Year
Welcome to a year and a new chapter in this journey we call life. Many of you may be thinking that this year is going to be different, that 2022 is the year that you set goals that will help you create a better version of yourself and stick to them. This is the year that you step outside of your comfort zone and accomplish things you never thought you could.
If you're ready to take life by the horns this year and achieve long-sought-after goals, use the SMART goal method to set goals you can follow through on. When setting goals for your new chapter, be kind to yourself and show yourself some grace. Be reasonable when setting your goals; challenge yourself but do not set the bar higher than your abilities.
What Are SMART Goals?
(S) Specific: When setting a goal for yourself, take the necessary time to see the bigger picture of what you want to achieve. Ask yourself why you are selecting the goal and figure out what obstacles you may face along the way toward achieving it. Make your goal specific enough that you know when you've achieved it. If it's too vague, it might be hard to know what steps will take you to the end result. You might even create a vision board as a tool to keep you motivated and working towards your specific goals.
(M) Measurable: When you set measurable goals, it's easier to accomplish them. This can be a very personal metric; only you need to understand. It's also a good idea to set goals along the way of completing the bigger task at hand so that you can measure your success during the process and see how close or far you are from reaching your bigger goal. Depending on what you're going for, a measurable goal might mean you can do something in a certain amount of time, do something a certain number of times, or have completed a certain number of things. Whatever it is, make sure you have some way to know for sure when you've reached your goal
(A) Attainable: Everybody is different. While it's easy to be influenced by professional sports, pop culture, social media, and TV, remember you need to have realistic expectations when setting goals for yourself. This means that you might not be as good as someone else at everything you try—no matter how hard you work. However, if a goal is essential to you, ask yourself if you have the tools and skills you need to achieve it. If you find that you do not, you might have to set a subset of goals for yourself to attain them.
(R) Realistic: Make sure that your goals are realistic—and relevant—to your life. Understanding your abilities when setting goals will help you figure out what it will take to achieve them. For example, will you have the time to accomplish your intended goal? Do you have the physical capacity? If you set the bar too high, you may be discouraged when you don't or can't reach it. Make sure you are realistic about your capacity for achieving your goal.
(T) Time-Bound: Giving yourself time to achieve your goals is more complicated than it sounds. We live in a world where everyone wants everything immediately. However, most goals do not work like that. It takes time, patience, and an overall understanding of yourself to achieve your goals. With this in mind, it's important to set a specific timeframe in which you will achieve your goal. This will make it easier for you to track your progress and provide a guide for you along the way. Ask yourself, how long it will realistically take for you to achieve your goal and give yourself a deadline.
Give Yourself Grace
While reaching your goal is essential, so is self-care. Goals do not have to be accomplished in a day, week, or month. Using SMART goals will allow you to create a plan that will grow and evolve as you change. When you break big goals down into smaller, actionable steps, you might be surprised at how much you can get accomplished.
Most of all, be proud of yourself for trying. Not everyone has the courage to step out of their comfort zone and set goals to improve their life. In the beginning, the new goals that you have set for yourself may seem daunting and unattainable. With every step you take, know that you are that much closer to reaching those goals you created.
Setting reasonable goals for yourself can be challenging. People tend to think that they have to do all or nothing, or go big or go home, there is never a happy medium. Once you begin to set SMART goals you will be able to create goals that are achievable set in a framework that works for you, not against you. SMART goals help you set your intention and focus on the plan that you have created for yourself. They can also help you get out of your comfort zone to have new experiences. Achieve Medical Center's staff understands that setting goals for yourself can be a challenge when you are experiencing mental health issues such as anxiety or depression. The experienced, compassionate staff at Achieve will help you work through the issues preventing you from becoming the best version of yourself and living your best life. Call us today at (619) 376-6616