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Be SMART in 2014

January 1, 2014

list

If you’re sitting down to write your New Year’s Resolutions, take a moment to plan how to make your goals more achievable in 2014. Make those resolutions SMART ones this time around!

SMART resolutions are ones you can actually, conceivably keep. The template goes like this:

Specific

Measurable

Attainable

Realistic

Timely

The way many of us have learned to write goals is way too vague – that’s a big reason we never really achieve them. We set ourselves up for letting our fuzzy goals slip out of view.

For example, writing “Lose weight” as a goal doesn’t give you a SMART way to make that resolution a reality. However, writing “Lose 1 pound a month” gives you a specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely goal to aim for. It also means that, when you hit your mark next December, you will have shed 12 pounds.

“Eat at home more” is easily dismissed as a goal. But “Cook dinner at home 4 nights a week” isn’t.

Similarly, writing “Exercise more” doesn’t hold you accountable to your goal. But writing “Walk briskly for 30 minutes 3 times a week” or “Bike to work and back twice a week” gives you a concrete plan of action.

After you write your resolution, create a list of strategies for attaining the goal. For example, if your goal is to “Walk briskly for 30 minutes 3 times a week,” your strategies might include asking a friend or partner to go with you, getting some walking music to play on your phone or downloading a step-tracking app that will make you proud of your progress.

A strategy to support your specific weight-loss goal might be to take a workshop, like my “Done with Diets!” workshop offered later this month in Pittsburgh.

How can you quantify your resolutions so you set yourself up for success?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 1, 2014 2:11 pm

    Thanks Paula, that was very useful advise. I will look at my calendar and decide when, each week, I am going to the gym and when, each week, I am siting my butt down to write. I am also going to write down things I already do, like cook at home at least 4 nights a week, so I am successful from the get go. Happy New Year.

    • January 1, 2014 3:42 pm

      Thanks for pointing out that SMART goals are transferable to any resolution, really — including the all-important writing. Happy New Year, Patricia!

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