Setting SMART New Year’s Resolutions
With the year-end just around the corner, it’s time to set out some achievable goals for 2018.
Some people can’t wait to set goals for the new year, others dread it. If you fit in this last category and feel frustrated when revisiting your list full of unmet goals from last year, this blog post is for you.
While there is scientific proof that writing down goals increases the chances of them being achieved, the common statements people use such as the ones illustrated below are too vague, and will most likely remain unmet.
This year, instead of setting yourself for disappointment with vague goals, try setting structured and trackable SMART goals. SMART goals should be:
Specific - What exactly do you want to achieve? Think about what you want to accomplish, who is involved, by when this goal should be accomplished, where and why you want to achieve this goal.
Measurable - Keep track of your progress and establish concrete criteria for measuring it. Ask yourself: How much? How many? How will I know my goal has been achieved?
Achievable - Your goals must be realistic and attainable. That doesn’t mean you can’t set ambitious goals. Breaking goals that seem out of reach down into more achievable steps will help you achieve the main goal one step at a time.
Relevant - Are you able and most of all, willing to achieve this goal? Ask yourself what the objective of achieving your goal is and if it will really contribute to you becoming the person you want to be.
Timely - Every goal needs a deadline. Knowing you have to accomplish a task at a certain time makes you accountable. Know your timelines and exactly what needs to be done by when.
Now that you know all the ingredients for setting a SMART goal or resolution, let’s apply them to an example.
Vague goal: Find a better job.
1) What does a “better job” mean to you? Define what you want to do and where you want to work. Be specific.
2) How are you going to get there? What strategies and actions will you take?
3) What is your timeline?
SMART goal: I will work as a Software Development Engineer in one of the top three local tech companies (specifically list them) by October 2018. I will be active on LinkedIn and reach out to my entire network to identify people who can introduce me to someone in the desired companies. I will set up at least three informational interviews every month, and attend events where I can meet more people working in the industry. I will check the job postings for these companies every Friday and apply for the positions during the weekend.
Make sure to always check back on your goals to ensure you are on track. Live and breathe your goals if you really want to achieve them. And on a final note, prioritize quality over quantity–you don’t need a big list of goals. You can start with one professional, one personal and one health-related, for example.
Ready to set your SMART New Year’s Resolutions? I promise you will never dread this time of the year again!