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by Ruth Yeboah, at 07:00 am, November 08, 2018, Women of Value

Setting SMART goals for the New Year that you can actually accomplish

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Can you believe there are only 2 months left in 2018? Where did the time go? The New Year motivates people to embark on all kinds of resolutions. According to Forbes Magazine, research has shown that by February, most people give up on the goals they set on New Year’s Day. People do not give up on their goals because New Year resolutions are doomed in nature, but simply because people do not have a focused approach on how they will execute their goals.

Without a plan of action, it is nearly impossible to achieve any goal for that matter. There are several factors that hinder achieving your goals. Sometimes, people want an accountability partner to hit the gym with, know that the goal is yours and not theirs so they may not be as driven to achieve it.

Sometimes, people give up prematurely when they meet challenges they did not foresee, or people have poor time management skills. There could also be financial burdens that stop you from saving as you had intended. Most commonly though, people do not believe they can even achieve the goals they have set and that prevents them from working at it!

Now is a good time to start setting goals for 2019, because New Year gets you in the hype but it does not necessarily predict the completion of those goals.  We are far enough in the year, that you can assess the goals you set in January, check off those you were able to accomplish, and figure out why you were unable to accomplish some of the goals.

For goals to be accomplished, they must be SMART. Many universities and organizations have adopted the SMART concept. Here is a foolproof way to set any goal and have it completed!

  1. Specific – People have a tendency to set grandiose goals they know cannot be accomplished. The best thing you can do for yourself is to simplify your goals, clearly define your goal by answering what, why, and how. For example, “I would like to attend the gym four times a week, in order to lose 20 pounds.”
  2. Measurable – There needs to be a way you can assess that the goal is being worked on. The above goal is measurable because you can weigh in to determine whether you have in fact lost the weight.
  3. Achievable – Goals are achievable when you have a specific plan to execute it. The goal should be challenging but, not to the point where you stretch yourself too thin in an attempt to accomplish the goal. It is easier to say I will lose 20 pounds than saying I want to go from a size 20 to a size 8, knowing it is a significant difference. Think baby steps.
  4. Relevant/ result-focused – Goals should have measurable outcomes and not just a bunch of activities that are not relevant to the end result.
  5. Time-Bound – Putting a timeframe on goals creates a sense of urgency, and makes the goal-setter accountable within that time frame. Although the time frame might not be rigid, the intent is to ensure that there is a movement toward that goal.

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