Chuck Keller

Chuck Keller

SMART Goals for the New Year

New Year’s resolutions can be thought of as a type of goal-setting exercise. Yet, most people tend to be more successful at formally setting goals than they are at reaching what they set out in their resolutions.

One of the best ways to guarantee goal-setting success is to ensure that each of your goals or New Year’s resolutions are SMART goals. SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.

When your goals have these characteristics, you are much likelier to achieve them.

Goal Setting Success

Setting short-term, medium-term, and long-term goals for yourself is one of the keys to changing your story. If there are things that you want to achieve or ways that you want to grow, setting goals as stepping stones is an important part of getting there.

Smart Goals

Making Your Goals SMART:

SMART goals are specific. This means that your goal should be numbers-based or have a specific end in mind.

  • The more specific you can be when determining your goals, the clearer it will be when you finally achieve them.

  • Break your large goals into smaller short-term and medium-term goals, with each smaller goal phrased just as specifically, in order for them to be attainable and achievable.

SMART goals are measurable. This is another reason why smart goals are numbers-based. You must be able to track and measure your progress. SMART goals have a clear end or point of attainment.

  • Being able to measure your progress is important in goal setting and goal achievement. It helps you determine whether you’re moving in the right direction since you can clearly track and measure both positive and negative progress along the way.
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SMART goals are achievable. Smart goals are goals that you can achieve. They’re not extremely farfetched goals like “Lose 100 pounds in 90 days,” because if there’s no way to achieve the goal, why set it? SMART goals are goals that you’re physically and mentally capable of achieving.

SMART goals are realistic. SMART goals are not only attainable, but they are realistically attainable. They are a combination between a specific achievement that you can reach and a time frame that realistically coordinates with that achievement.

    • For that reason, a SMART goal would be “Lose 10 pounds in 90 days,” for a healthy weight loss of 3 to 4 pounds per month, rather than “Lose 10 pounds this week.”

SMART goals are timely. Smart goals have time frames, and realistic ones at that. When you put a realistic time frame on your goal, it gives you something to work for. To simply “Lose 10 pounds,” without a time frame lacks motivation. “Lose 10 pounds by my birthday” has a realistic time frame that gives you something to work for and a date for completion

Bottom Line

Setting SMART goals is the best way to guarantee success at setting and achieving goals for what you want in life. By setting goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely, you can and will achieve success!


You’ve done the work. You’ve made each of your goals smart. But what if there was a way to make those goals SMARTER? Two little words can make all the difference. Evaluate and Reward.

EVALUATE your SMART goal. Take time to evaluate and reflect, not only on your progress but also on whether this goal is still relevant to you. Life is full of changes. Sometimes goals need to be reworked to line up with changes happening around you.

REWARD Yourself. As you plan out your goals, making them SMART, set up checkpoints along the way to measure your progress. At each of these checkpoints, set up a reward system for hitting the various milestones along the way. And when you achieve that goal, make sure you have a reward set up to help you celebrate your hard work. Setting up a simple reward system is a great way to keep your motivation and focus at a high level

As you go through this process of setting SMART goals, it can be helpful to begin by looking back at the previous year. Looking back to reflect, modify, and move forward with a new plan, new SMART goals. Set aside some time to work through this New Year Evaluation and you’ll be well on your way to setting some exciting SMART goals for the coming year. 

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