Monday, January 11, 2016


By Mary Kennedy

Now that the fun and hoopla of celebrating is over, we're facing a whole New Year. That's a good thing, right? But what shall we do about those dreaded New Year's resolutions? Fess up. Have you made the same goals, year after year? I bet most of us have.

Did you know that 80% of people have abandoned their New Year's resolution by mid-February? Oh no! That's discouraging. What's the answer?

The answer is to be SMART when choosing your goals. When you think you have a goal, test it against the SMART model. Is it really a goal, or is it just a dream?

Here's how to test your goal. Ask yourself these questions. Suppose you say your goal is "I want to lose weight."

S = Specific. Is your goal specific?
 "I want to lose weight" isn't specific. It's doesn't mention how much, or how you will do it or when you will accomplish it.

M=Measurable.  How much weight do you want to lose? The goal as you've written it is too vague. Without a number, there is no way to tell if you've reached your goal or failed.

A = Action steps. The goal listed above doesn't include any action steps. Will you join a gym? Walk 3 miles a day? Take 10,000 steps every day and wear a pedometer to make sure you do? Without action steps, your goal is meaningless.

R=Realistic. Again, your goal is so vague, it's impossible to tell if it is realistic or not. Losing a pound or two is realistic. Losing 20 pounds in a month is not.

T= Time based. This is where most goals fail. There is no deadline and the goals are carried over from year to year. There has to be deadline, or you don't have a goal, you have a dream. Dreams are fun, but let's face it, they don't get you where you want to go.

So write out your goals, test them against the SMART model and good luck!

By Mary Kennedy