Looking at setting a goal for 2013? Many individuals fail at their New Year’s resolutions within the first few weeks of January. To help you set proper goals this year try using the SMART goals method. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends these steps when setting a personal health goal. Many people find these guidelines helpful for health goals such as losing weight or quitting smoking. However, SMART goals can also be applied to other aspects of your life as well. For example you may have a financial goal, family goal, or character goal you are setting for yourself in 2013.
Specific — The more specific your goal is the easier it will be to stick to. “I want put more money into my savings account this year” is a very vague goal. Setting a goal such as “I want to add $100 to my savings account every month” is more specific and can be followed easier. If the goal is more specific there won’t be as much leeway if you start falling behind.
Measurable — Can you measure the progress/results of your goal? Setting a goal that you can measure will let you know if you are on track to succeed with your goal. A measurable goal may be to run a 5k in under 30 minutes. This goal can be measured very easily. Measuring your running distances and times you will allow you to know if you are on track with meeting your goal.
Attainable — It is important that the goal you set is actually attainable. You would not want to set a goal of “losing 100 pounds by February” Losing that much weight in such a short amount of time isn’t possible. Shoot for something that you can actually accomplish. “I would like to lose 10 pounds by the end of March”.
Relevant — Is your goal important or relevant to your life? For example, if your goal is to advance at your job, you may want to set some small goals relevant to getting ahead at work. Some goals could be "I am going to spend more time on the projects I am assigned at work so nothing gets overlooked." Or "I am going to ask my boss for more responsibilities so I can show them what I am capable of."
Time Bound — It’s easiest to follow a goal that can be measured by a certain time. Let’s say your goal is to graduate college. A time bound goal would be to graduate in 4 years taking 15 credits per semester.