(For part one on this topic, click here.)
Since 92% of people fail to realize their resolutions, there must be a better strategy. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.
Here are some ways I have applied SMART goals. I hope they will inspire you to get your ducks lined up and realize your goals.
Lose weight/get fit: 5 or 6 years ago I finally joined a gym. I discovered they’re not as expensive as I thought! What kind of exercise is the best? The one you will actually DO! You have to find a system that works for you, then commit to it. I found that going to a gym and seeing others workout is motivating. My ongoing SMART goal is to get to the gym 2-3 times/week.
Eat better: I made it a goal to eat at least 5 servings of fruits & vegetables everyday. Shopping at Costco and farmer’s markets has helped me buy (& EAT) better. I picked up kitchen appliances to make breakfast fruit smoothies and vege/fruit drinks. I pack lunches and make eating fast food (hamburgers, fried foods, etc.) an exception rather than the rule. Eating right takes a little planning, but it’s so worth it.
Read more: I got an inexpensive Kindle e-book reader. On it are multiple titles, so there is always something waiting for me. But I especially love audio books because I’d rather be busy that sit to read. I use Audible.com. I learn from non-fictions books while driving, gardening and cooking. What is your preference? Most of us have access to public libraries that have all sorts of free resources.
Develop a spiritual routine: I set aside a time every morning to sit with my coffee and bible. I am deliberate about taking the time and follow a strategy; using a reading plan is very helpful. I’ve read the bible in chronological order several times; this last year I used a plan by You Version on my Kindle. This year I will mix it up.
Manage money & get out of debt: YNAB software has been helpful for tracking my spending and managing my accounts. I get motivation to spend less and pay off debt by listening to various radio shows and podcasts. Now I tell my money where to go instead of it telling me where to go.
Take a vacation: Being single on a limited income does not facilitate exciting vacations. However, a little creativity has helped, as has the generosity of friends who sometimes invite me to share their vacation homes. The biggest part of successfully realizing this goal is to set my mind to take time off without feeling guilty. You need time off too. What will you plan for this coming year?
Get organized: This year I made it a goal to clean out my study and closets. I get overwhelmed by details, so I invited a detail-oriented friend to help me sort through papers and books; she was more than happy to help. I hauled a carload of paper to a recycle center, donated books to the library and sold stuff a yard sale. The rest went into inexpensive clear plastic containers. Now my goal is file papers by June 19th.
Balance life: I work a lot. However, I realize that all work and no play makes me an imbalanced and boring person. So I started a group of like-minded 50-somethings that get together twice a month to share wine, food, ideas and the journey. I also make a point to schedule social times. I watch less TV, make a conscious effort to stress less, and work on enjoying the small aspects of life.
(You can follow any of the links to previous articles on these topics.)
These are examples from my life. How might you implement SMART goals to help you succeed this next year?
"The only thing standing between you and your goal is the bullshit story you keep telling yourself as to why you can't achieve it.” ― Jordan Belfort*