How SMART are your resolutions?

Happy New Year!
Photo Credit: digitalart (FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

What kind of New Year’s Resolutions did you make? Was it something vague, like “Eat better,” or does it pass the SMART test?

When setting goals (resolutions included), many people use a technique I learned in school: make them SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely).

Specific

Put details in your goal so that you have a clearer idea of what you are planning on doing.

Measurable

Phrase the goal in a way that you can easily tell if you’ve accomplished it or not.

Attainable

Make a goal that you have the ability and resources to meet (or, make sure you have a plan to get the skills and resources you will need).

Realistic

Write your goal so that you do not have to be a miracle-worker to achieve it.

Timely

Include a deadline or time frame in your goal so that you know when to evaluate your progress.

Here are some generic examples with a few of the many possible changes to making SMART goals.

Generic or otherwise non-SMART SMART examples
  • Eat better
  • Eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables every day
  • Drink more water
  • Drink at least 8 glasses of water every day
  • Drink a glass of water before each meal or snack
  • Substitute a glass of water in the place of one soda every day
  • Work out
  • Do at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week
  • Attend an exercise class three times a week, after work
  • Be a better person
  • Volunteer for one hour on Tuesdays at the local food bank
  • Compliment a stranger every day
  • Lose weight
  • Lose 25 pounds, at a rate of 1 pound each week, through portion control and exercise
  • Meet with the dietitian monthly to discuss and plan realistic weight loss goals and progress
  • Get a better job
  • Apply to 3 jobs per week, until a new job contract is signed
  • Save money
  • Save $100 per month for the 2014 European summer vacation
  • Spend more time with family and friends
  • Host a monthly movie party for close friends
  • Eat Sunday family dinner each week

What are your resolutions? Do they pass the SMART test?

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Author: Shelly Najjar

MPH in Public Health Nutrition, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist // Freelance Writer, Community Builder // I have a very long Goal List (Bucket List) and I enjoy doing nail art.

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