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How to Make SMART Resolutions

The year 2019 is literally a few days away! Happy New Year! I love new years. They are full of promise and potential. New beginnings. If the last year didn’t work out as planned, here’s a brand new year to start over! This is the perfect time to make resolutions for the upcoming 365 days.

The issue with resolutions is that they are most likely forgotten about by Valentine’s Day. I’ve been there. ????‍♀️ I would reflect really hard on New Year’s day to write a whole list of maybe 20 resolutions that I promise myself that I would do for the next year. But then either, these resolutions are forgotten about or I get burned out from trying to achieve them. So how do we solve this dilemma?

By making SMART resolutions. I know…you’re probably thinking, “Well DUH. I’m not going to make DUMB resolutions!”.  Of course I know that! And that’s not what I meant. By SMART, I mean Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. Let’s take a look at what all of this means and how it will help you have the best year ever!


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SMART Resolutions Resolution

SPECIFIC

Describe your resolution and what you hope to accomplish by being specific. Let’s say one of your New Year’s resolutions is to save more money. This is a great goal to have! But if you go into the new year with just “I’m going to save money”, it’s so open-ended that if you save an extra $1 per paycheck, you have reached your goal! I’m sure you would want to save more than $1. 🙂 You want to be more specific so you have a clear idea of what it is you want to achieve and how you’re going to achieve it. Instead, your resolution could be something like, “I want to save an extra $200 every month by cooking more at home and eating out less.” With this resolution, you list what you hope to attain and exactly how you will get there. (BTW, if your resolution is indeed to save money, check out easy budgeting for the modern family!)

SMART Resolutions Specific
Describe what you want to accomplish and be specific.

MEASURABLE

How will you measure your progress toward meeting your resolution? Having a measurable resolution kind of goes along with having a specific one. Instead of having a resolution of “I want to lose weight”, having a measurable one would be along the lines of “I want to lose fifteen pounds”. Or instead of “I want to spend read more”, you can have the resolution state, “I want to read at least one book per month”. The fifteen pounds and one book per month are quantifiable and easy to measure.

SMART Resolutions Measurable
How will you measure progress toward meeting your resolution?

ATTAINABLE

What steps will you need to take to achieve this resolution? Having a resolution that is realistic is key to making sure that you reach them by year’s end. Setting an unrealistic goal is definitely setting yourself up for failure, even if you don’t mean to. It’s best to set small steps. You may have noticed in my examples above that I want to do such and such “every month”. Instead of, “I want to read twelve books in 2019”, I resolved to read at least one book per month. With reading twelve books in 2019, the resolution is indeed specific and measurable and it’s even attainable. But with this resolution, that could mean you could read all twelve books in December 2019! If you weren’t reading in the first eleven months, you’re not as likely to read all twelve by year’s end. It’s better to set small goals as they are easier to MAINTAIN as they become habits.

SMART Resolutions Attainable
What steps do you need to achieve this resolution?

RELEVANT

Why is this resolution important? What impact will reaching this resolution have on your life? When you are brainstorming of your resolutions and what you want to achieve in the new year, make a resolution that is meaningful to you. Otherwise, you’ll be less motivated to try to attain them if it’s not something you particularly care about. Will losing weight make YOU happy or somebody else happy? Will saving more money impact your life that is meaningful to you? Don’t take this step lightly. This is probably the hardest part of making SMART resolutions, but it’s truly the reason you’re doing this!

SMART Resolutions Relevant
Why is this resolution important? What impact will reaching it have on your life?

TIMELY

How long will it take you to reach your resolution? Yes, you’re making your resolution for the new year, but it doesn’t mean you only have a year to achieve it. And vice versa, you don’t need a full year either! However, you do want to have a timeframe that is within the near future or you may lose sight of the end goal or even get overwhelmed. For example, let’s say you’re saving up to go on a family vacation in about two years. Instead of saying, “I’m going to save up $5,000 for the family vacation of a lifetime”, you can break it into smaller steps and say “I’m going to save up $200 per month to put towards our family vacation”. $200 seems more manageable and less overwhelming than $5,000, am I right?

SMART Resolutions Timely
How long will it take you to accomplish your resolution?

And there are your steps for making (and keeping) SMART resolutions! Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. To help guide you when you make your SMART resolutions, check out the free workout with the prompts for each section. Once you have your final SMART resolutions, write them in the free printable that is pretty enough to frame! Feel free to share some of your 2019 resolutions and can’t wait to see what you accomplish!


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