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Goal Setting for the New Year: Make it SMART

This year, we’re sharing our tips on goal setting success for New Year’s Resolutions. This is the sixth and final post in our series. So far we’ve posted tips for rewarding yourselfvisualizing success ,  focusing on goals that are important to you, sharing your goal to gain accountability and staying positive.  Today’s topic is keeping your goals SMART.

Tip #6 Make it SMART – each goal you set needs to be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time Sensitive.


  • Specific: Your goals should be as specific and detailed as possible. For example, saying that you want to work on your marriage is too general. However, stating that you will hire a babysitter for each Saturday night to go on a weekly date with your spouse is more concrete and specific.
  • Measurable: Write your goal so that it can be measured and tracked. If you’d like to save money for a specific purchase, state that you’d like to set aside a certain dollar amount per month, for the next X months in order to afford the new purchase. Or, instead of saying, “I’d like to lose weight”, a measurable goal could be stated as, “I’d like to lose 1 pound per week for the next 15 weeks”.
  • Attainable: If you set a challenging goal, break it down into smaller pieces to realize and celebrate success more often. Don’t vow to get your home completely organized in one weekend. Focus on one area each week. Declutter for 15 minutes each day. (Visit our Facebook Page or search this blog for a number of decluttering projects that take 10-15 minutes a day – we’ve been posting a Tuesday Ten Minute Toss Challenge for a couple of months now). Decide to enlist help where needed.
  • Realistic: Make sure the goal is realistic for you, and you alone. This is not an area where you want to try to “keep up with the Jones’s (or even your friend, spouse, etc.). If you can barely jog around the block, it would be unreasonable to set out to run a marathon next month. Go ahead and challenge yourself to reach your potential, but set yourself up for success at the same time.
  • Time Sensitive: Give yourself a deadline … don’t fall prey to “I’d like to do this someday”. Use start and end dates. You can even establish a “to do” timeline in between. Schedule time to work on your goal. Plan it on your calendar and treat that time as “appointment” time.

Are your New Year’s Resolutions or goals SMART?  How has our series affected your goal-setting strategy?  We want to hear from you!

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