Let us take the SMARTGoal Tool to a common New Year’s Resolution, losing weight. The statement of “losing weight” itself is quite complex. Some of the questions that can range are: How much weight do you want to lose? What is/are the method(s) that you want to lose weight? By when do you want to lose the weight? What are your reasons for wanting to lose weight? Argh, gives me a headache just thinking about the complexities. But as difficult and time-consuming these questions can be, they are ones that can help provide perspective and specify the goals and reasons for “losing weight”.
Here is the SMARTGoal Tool at work:
S – Specific: Lose weight through decrease of water weight and body fat content
M – Measurable: Lose 20lbs based on above criteria
A – Achievable: Lose weight through the methods of exercise; Change to all-natural diet; Decrease caloric intake
R – Realistic: Lose weight by exercising 3 days per week for at least 1 hour; Replace at least 1 meal per day with all natural/organic foods; list caloric intake via downloaded calorie tracker application (e.g. MyFitnessPal, MyPlate Calorie Tracker, Lose It!)
T – Time Sensitive: Lose the rate of 5lbs per month for at least 4 months
The SMARTGoal Tool has transformed the New Year’s Resolution of “losing weight” into a series of simplified, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-sensitive steps that breakdown the complexities of “losing weight”. Of course it is to the discretion of the individual as to the method of achieving their goal as not everyone may have these suggestions available to them. However, the SMARTGoal Tool can be utilized to fit many situations.
One of my personal resolutions is “Become a Better Cook” in 2015. Once again, a very vague and complex resolution that can be directionless. I look at this monumental task and start to wonder where to begin. Therefore, I will put my resolution through the SMARTGoal Tool.
S – Specific: Learn to cook new recipes of fish, poultry, beef/pork, and vegetables
M – Measurable: Learn to cook 12 recipes (4 fish, 4 poultry, 4 beef/pork, 4 vegetables)
A – Achievable: Look for recipes through multiple digital sources (websites, apps, magazines, TV, etc.); Create a list of additional ingredients to purchase for each recipe during routine grocery/market trips
R – Realistic: Learn to cook 1 recipe per month by researching desired recipe (fish, poultry, beef/pork, vegetable) through 3 digital sources; Create additional grocery list that is focused on new recipe ingredients
T – Time-Sensitive: Try 1 new recipe per month and after learning, practice each recipe at least once each month
Now that I have implemented the SMARTGoal Tool into my personal New Year’s Resolution (Become a Better Cook), it became more achievable and simple. This is not to say that I will master all of these 12 new recipes (as I am still learning), but it will make me a better cook in the simple fact that I would know at least 12 new recipes by the end of 2015. And of course, the more often one utilizes their skills, the more effective they become.
So when making New Year’s Resolutions, try to remember that they can often be vague, directionless, and underestimated. That doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be done, just that it could be simplified using the SMARTGoal Tool to help breakdown the often large and vague resolution to specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-sensitive actions and activities that provide a place to start and a clear direction moving forward. It is likely that there may be a few roadblocks along the way (because that is life), but let’s try not to forget that these roadblocks are just more ways to learn from our adversities. Lastly, resolutions don’t just have to be made at the New Year. If the resolution as been achieved, it does not stop there. It hopefully becomes part of your routine. Then one may be able to focus on new resolutions and goals and the SMARTGoal Tool can continue to be helpful moving forward.
Have fun, stay safe, and have a Happy & Healthy New Year!
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