Be a SMART Cookie about your 2019 resolutions

cookie monster2

If you’re going to have 2019 resolutions, then be a SMART cookie about them.

Of course, giving up cookies may be one of your resolutions. And if you’re SMART about it, you will set up your goals so you can count how many cookies you gave up, unless your goal is to eat more of them. Well, then, you’ll be able to count that, too.

So, in celebration of 2019, here’s a review of how you could state your resolutions–either with or without cookies–to set you up for greater success.

M easurable
A ttainable
R elevant
T ime bound

What’s important in setting a goal is not be vague about it–except in telling other people. Studies demonstrate when you have a goal, it’s best not to tell too many people about it at first because you can be negatively affected by their opinions. However, the goal itself should be specific and not vague .”I want to lose weight,” is a vague goal. “I plan to lose 10 pounds by my high school reunion in May” is a SMART-oriented goal.

Here are some questions to guide you in the  five areas of a SMART goal:

Specific: Be a journalist and ask the five “w” questions. Who is this for and who needs to be involved? What do you want to accomplish? Why are you doing this? Where will the goal be achieved? Which resources will you need?

Measurable: How often will you  measure success. For example, if you want to lose 10 pounds, will you weigh myself daily or once a week? If you want to complete a training module, how may sessions should you complete in a day or a week?

Attainable: Maybe you want to be millionaires and that may be a goal that can be attained eventually. But if you need a million dollars by 2 p.m. tomorrow, then you may be setting yourself up for disappointment.  Also, be careful about setting goals that other people have power to approve or deny. If you plan to borrow a million dollars from the bank, then be prepared for them to tell you no if you don’t meet their good credit criteria.

Relevant: You have a higher chance of achieving your goal if it’s a goal you want to achieve. So, ask yourself if this is the right time and if you’ve got the energy and motivation to achieve it.

Time-bound: The brain focuses more when a deadline is set for achieving a goal. So take out the calendar and manually circle the date you want to have your goal completed by. For example, if you want to earn a master’s degree, then find out what all the required courses are plus any required practicums and internships and write down your graduation date. This will give you a realistic view of what your time investment will be to achieve your goal.

So, however 2019 unfolds for you, you can be a SMART Cookie in obtaining all you seek.

© 2019 Brenda Henning



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