How to define your New Year Resolution in 5 simple steps.

Get Real. Get Smart. Get What You Want.

The common New Year Resolution is insane- seriously! Do you know what insanity is? Doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results. That’s exactly what happens with most new year resolutions- you make a quick, impulisve decision on what you want to change this next year with no goal and plan set to help you get there.

You’re probably thinking to yourself “Not me! Not this time! I’m sticking to my guns”… but, get real. You’re making the same new year resolution you’ve always made, and failed to keep. Or, maybe you’re making a different resolution but with the same amount of thought and commitment (very little). How can you expect this year to bear any new or different fruit if you’re planting the same old seeds in the wrong soil? You can’t.

So… how do you make this year THE year you “stick to your guns”?
The best way to make a resolution is to make a resolution, not pick something off a list of popular wants, desires, and dreams that have been deemed acceptable as a resolution. The definition of what a resolution is has been skewed for a lot of people for a long time. Let’s take a look at the definition to find out what it really means…

Res•o•lu•tion | Noun
1. A firm decision to do or not to do something.
2. The action of solving a problem, dispute, or contentious matter.

Ok, so you’ve made a firm decision to do something- maybe that is part of this basic resolution you’ve created. The question you need to ask yourself is why you’ve made this firm decision, and that will lead you to definition #2. Your resolution should revolve around solving a problem you’ve had this past year.
Think about it- really, really, think about an issue you’ve been dealing with that you constantly find yourself complaining about or wishing would change. It could be as simple or as complex as possible- just find out what that one thing is.

Now, another reason resolutions can’t seem to be kept is that so many people make them unrealistic, or not specific enough. For example, a common new year’s resolution is to lose weight… but why? how much weight? by when? How are you going to lose weight? These are all questions that need to be answered to help create a resolution that will truly stick.

You’ve got your what, now let’s get S.M.A.R.T.!
For any goal you have, the SMART way has been tried and tested over and over again with great results… so how do you do it?

SMART is an acronym for:
•S: Specific
•M: Measurable
•A: Achievable
•R: Relevant
•T: Timely

S | Specific
The famed five ‘Ws’ is what you need to answer in order to truly define your specific goal. Go ahead and answer these, write down your answers on a sheet of paper.
•Who: Who is involved with this goal?
•What: What do I want to accomplish?
•Which: Which limits and/or resources are involved?
•Where: Where is it located?
•Why: Why do I want to accomplish this, and why is it important?
Getting the specifics figured out will help to create a roadmap for you to follow in order to become successful. Maybe your goal is to start your own business… knowing who is involved with helping you start, what you want to accomplish with said person or people, what resources you’ll need, where you can do this, and why you want to start your own business will help you to see other smaller goals need to be accomplished before you can actually start that business!

M | Measurable
Having a measurable goal is crucial- you need to be able to track how far you’ve gone, and how far you need to go. Again, write down your answers to each question.
•How much? Or, how many?
•How long?
•How will I know when it’s been accomplished?
Being able to measure your progress will not only keep you accountable but motivated as well! Maybe your resolution is to lose 50 pounds in six months, so you’ve set mini goals of losing around 8 pounds each month. That’s about 2 pounds per week- definitely measurable and achievable. Take transformation pictures every month so you can visually see how much progress you’ve made. Take body measurements along with each picture and log them in your goal journal so you can feel and see on paper how far you’ve come and get excited about pushing forward.
You’ll also be able to see if the way you’ve planned to achieve your goal is working or not. Maybe you’re not seeing any results, so you decide you need to hire a personal trainer or attend more classes offered at your gym. By measuring you can constantly see what’s working and what’s not, and adjust to see the results you want.

A | Achievable
Goals are goals for a reason- because we need to work for them to become realities. So, while reaching and challenging yourself to betterment is the idea, you don’t want to set a goal so high and out of sight that you set yourself up for failure. This doesn’t mean all “crazy” goals are unattainable, they can just take a lot longer than a year to come to fruition. So keep that in mind when answering these questions:
•How can I achieve this goal?
•Can this goal really be achieved based on other constraints and resources, such as available time and finances?
— >It’s important to be aware of setting goals that are somewhat dependant on other people. Let’s say your goal is to become President of Sales at your company. While you may be able to take the appropriate courses, meet and exceed your sales goals, and work towards management and organization needed to be the president you cannot control who else might apply for the position, their qualifications and experience, and who makes the final decision. Your goals should focus on things you can do to be considered for the position.

R | Relevant
Here you make sure that your new year resolution is both important to you, and works in conjunction with other goals in your life. For example, maybe your goal is to sail on a solo mission to Hawaii, but you’ve just started a family and have responsibilities at home. Would taking that much time off from your home and family life be responsible? Is it going to affect the way others around you live? Be careful to take all of this into consideration. If your goal is relevant, then you will be able to answer YES to these questions:
•Does this seem worthwhile?
•Is this the right time?
•Does this match other efforts and needs at home or work?
•Am I the right person for this goal?
•Will this work in the current socio-economic environment?

T | Timely
With every goal, there is a target date, or there should be. Having a specific date will help to keep you motivated to meet your goal in that time frame. Your goal, or new year resolution, needs to be time bound. Try answering these questions to make sure your goal can be met in a timely manner:
•What can I do one year from now?
•What can I do six months from now?
•What can I do six weeks from now?
•What can I do today?

Using the SMART method to create your new year resolution will help you stick to your goal, and probably create some new goals, too! The new year is just around the corner- start taking the time to figure out your resolution now!