SMART ideas for making your New Year’s resolutions stick


Did you make any New Year’s resolutions? Nearly half of all Americans do. Yet, discouragingly, only 26% maintain their goals past six months. Today, I’ll share with you some SMART tips you can use to fine-tune your new goals and boost your success rate with future goals.


I find that when I want to make a behavior change, creating SMART goals helps me to stay on track to success.

Specific: Make goals as specific as possible. Doing this will greatly increase your chance of accomplishing your goal. A good rule of thumb is to keep in mind the six “W” questions: Who, What, Where, When, Which, Why.

Measurable: Too often, people set goals that are not measurable. Creating a measurable goal is important because it will allow you to track your progress, good or bad. For example, “I want to lose 10 pounds in three months.”

Attainable: Keep in mind the attainability of your goals. You want to set a goal that you can make a reality.

Realistic: To be realistic, a goal must represent an objective that you are both willing and able to achieve.

Timely: A goal should be grounded within a time frame. Without a time frame, there is a reduced sense of urgency which can lead you to fall short of your goal.

Here is an example of a SMART goal I recently created:

I want to increase the miles per week I run from 20 miles per week to 40 miles per week over the next 10 weeks in order to get in shape for my half marathon in the spring.

It’s a good idea to create a list of three to five commitments to reach your goal. Below are some commitments I have created for my example goal:

  1. This month I will join my local gym so in inclement weather, I have another option to get my mileage in.
  2. Create a support group to run with multiple days a week. I will be more likely to run if other people are counting on me.
  3. Get in the habit of running in the morning before work so I get it out of the way early. I will set my alarm on a nightstand across the room which will force me to get out of bed to turn it off.

Tell us what you think!

Have the tips in this article helped you to hone your goals for the New Year? Let us know! And be sure to stop back down the line to tell us how the SMART strategy influenced your success.

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