Setting New Years resolutions seem like a meaningless task, we say them, and then it feels like by March they've all but been forgotten. So how do we set goals that we can work on all year, and ensure that we can actually achieve the impossible New Years Goals.
Something I learnt a long time ago was in order to achieve a goal it should be S.M.A.R.T. - you are probably wondering what that means.
S - Specific, the last thing you want is a broad goal that isn't specific, you want to make sure the goal is clear so that you know you've achieved it without any grey area around it.
M - Measureable, Have a way of measuring your progress with the goal. So that you can see how you are progressing through the year
A - Attainable - the last you want to do for yourself is set a goal that is out of reach - and Also strive for greatness. So know your boundaries, but make sure you are setting a goal that is attainable
R - Realistic - Don't set a goal for yourself that is so far into dream land that you know you can't achieve it. Make sure that this is a real dream you want as well.
T - Timely - If this is a goal you want to acheive this year, make sure that the goal can be achieved in 1 years time. So that you aren't discouraged come 2022.
By using this acronym, you can set a goal that you will most definitely achieve if you want to, and that is the most important thing, you have to truly want this goal. It has to be something that you are extremely passionate about so that nothing is going to stand in your way - and then you don't let anything!
Last year my goals were as follows:
1. Spend less time on things that aren't important to me, and more time focusing on the good things around me.
2. Learn to Run
3. Cut debt in half
4. Do more things to the house
I can tell you right now that I only achieved 1/4 of my goals. Part of the reason is that these goals didn't contain the SMART method, they were so vague, how does one even go about achieving them.
Goals I achieved:
Do More Things to the house - This year I wanted to stop hating the house and start making it a home I love, and boy did we do this. We did a ton of work to the outside of the house, Stained our deck, built a bunch of garden beds, Stained our Fence, got 2 fruit trees and topped our giant tree that made our house incredibly dark. Inside we also did massive renos, took the wall out between kitchen and living room and created an open concept living/kitchen area. We re-did our second bathroom and added a shower, which has been a huge improvement, and I can honestly say I am starting to love our home.
Goals I didn't Achieve:
Spending less time on things that aren't important to me and more time focusing on the good things around me - its not hard to say that this year was hard for many other people, at times the pandemic became all consuming taking over our minds and filling it with negative. This year I also experienced some friendship changes, a bit of harrassement and well it took over my life. I spent so much time thinking about how shitty things made me feel that I stopped seeing the good that I had in my life. - Now more at the end of the year, I have started to focus on this again, but this will always be an on going goal. That I might choose to put the smart method to soon.
Learn to Run:
I attempted 1 run. The truth is, running just isn't my passion. And as much as it is a passion for some people I am not one of them and you know what that is okay! I love spinning and this year for Christmas my husband got me a spin bike, so I will be able to focus on that passion for 2021.
Cut Debt in Half:
I made huge some big changes in my life and have totally been able to focus on getting rid of debt, but I come from a long line of spenders. So I will be rolling this goal in 2021 and focusing to decrease my debt in order to live a more comfortable life with my family.
So now that I have shown you that these goals weren't SMART and how I did not attain them, I am going to show you how I make my goals for 2021.
This year I have 2 Main Goals:
1. Focus on being more positive, and changing my mental outlook.
2. Continue to focus on cutting debt in half.
For Goal 1:
I find that I can be an incredibly negative person, and often feed of negative people alot, So I have been slowly trying to remove negative people from life, and feel like I am finally in a spot where I can focus on myself and changing my mind set.
How I will use smart for this is :
S: Be more positive, and less negative -
M: Make a point each day to check in with your thoughts, and consciously changing negative to positive.
A: this goal is only going to be attainable if I put in the work.
R: I think this goal is realistic, do I think it will be 100% by December 2021. I dont know.
T: Time frame, I am going to set an alarm on my phone for the 10th of each month, for me to check in, and see how I am doing. This will remind me of my goal, and keep me on track.
Some other things that you should do is create tasks for yourself that you want to complete to help you reach this goal.
- I want to journal to help me deal with my feelings, I feel like when I journal I am happier.
- Reflect on a positive thing for each day - end your day with a positive note!
- Wake up each morning and say 1 positive thing to myself.
For Goal 2:
My husband and I really want to live a debt free lifestyle, this is hard because we come from a long line of people who like to shop. So this past year we decreased all of our credit card debt, so now we only spend money on our debit. Obviously at Christmas this year, we spent a lot of time purchasing online, and things were purchased with our credit card now we have small balances on a few of our cards. I also have a student loan I want to pay off.
Heres how I plan to put this to action this year:
S: Reducing debt in half - I know the number of my debt, and my plan is to reduce that in half by spending less on non essentials, and keeping purchases off credit cards
M: For this its easy, since my debt is a physical number I will be able to check in each month to evaluate how I am doing with paying of my current debt and reducing my spending.
A: I know that this goal is attainable, because we have budget that we follow for our monthly bills. So each month I have a certain number that I need to pay off to be on track for paying off our debt in half.
R: I think for me it would be unrealistic to say I could pay off all our debt, my husband is going to school this year, and we have a bathroom reno that will be happening in January. So realistically I think focusing on half our debt puts us in a great place for 2021.
T: For this I am giving myself the year, because lets be honest, things come up! They just do and we can predict stuff. By giving myself the full year I am allowing myself a bit of grace should something unexpected come up.
I have also put together tasks that I will do to ensure I stay on track:
- Lock all credit cards so there is no urge to use for non essentials
- unsubscribe from all junk mail that urges frivolous purchases
- Stick to the budget unless emergencies come up!
- Check in each month to ensure at the end of the month you are on track for achieving your goal
I Know for me it is so important that I take time each year and reflect on my goals, see how I did on those, and why I didnt do well. Are those goals still important to me and who I am at the end of each year? Its also important to keep up with your goals each month to make sure you are on track.
When you make your goal make sure it is something that is important to you, and that you really want to achieve this year. Simply saying you want to lose 10 lbs, or quit drinking isnt enough. Have why's behind it, and make sure sure you've got a strong goal with tasks to help you achieve that goal!
I hope you found this helpful and that you create strong goals to make 2021 your year. Just because 2020 wasn't the year we all expected doesn't mean we can't walk into 2021 with the mindset of completing crushing this year and achieving all our desires.
Happy New Year!
xo Chelsea, Monsterz Mama