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New Year, Same Me? How to make and stick with a resolution by using SMART goals

2024 is finally here! We are officially into year four of the roaring 2020s and for a decade initially filled with HOPE and PROMISE, it has been filled with CHALLENGES, STRIFE, and HARDSHIP.

Starting with the 2020 global pandemic, the roaring 2020s just haven't been what they were cracked up to be. So how do we make a change in our personal lives regardless of the dumpster fires burning around us?


As the new year begins, many of us embark upon the timeless tradition of making a resolution. However, we often find ourselves going strong for the first month or two then falling off of the bandwagon. Motivation dwindles, and the resolutions often fade away, leaving us feeling FAILURE, unfulfilled, disappointed, and unaccomplished.

By setting SMART goals, instead of a Resolution, we can break our larger ideas down into attainable micro goals, allowing for feelings of SUCCESS, FULFILLMENT, ACHIEVEMENT, and HOPE, increasing our motivation to keep the momentum going.

So what are SMART goals and why are they so much better than Resolutions? SMART is an acronym for SPECIFIC, MEASURABLE, ATTAINABLE, RELEVANT, and TIME-BOUND. These qualities enable individuals to establish clear, structured steps to achieve their goals rather than be left with vague hopes.

  1. SPECIFIC: Goals should be clear and specific, answering the questions of who, what, where, when, and why. They should avoid vague statements and clearly define what needs to be accomplished.

  2. MEASURABLE: Goals should be measurable, allowing progress to be tracked and evaluated. This entails quantifying or identifying concrete criteria to determine if the goal has been achieved.

  3. ACHIEVABLE: Goals should be realistic and attainable, taking into consideration the resources, skills, and time available to achieve them. They should stretch an individual or organization but remain within reach.

  4. RELEVANT: Goals should be aligned with the overall objectives and priorities, ensuring their relevance to the broader purpose or mission. They should directly contribute to the desired outcome and be meaningful in the given context.

  5. TIME-BOUND: Goals should have a time frame or deadline, providing a sense of urgency and focus. They should have a defined timeline to prevent indefinite or procrastinated efforts.

As attractive as a New Year's resolution is, they often lack the specificity and structure necessary for success. Setting SMART goals, especially broken down into a series of micro goals that build off one another provides structure, strategy, motivation, and accountability, increasing the probability of achievement.

Breaking down aspirations into small, ATTAINABLE BITE-SIZED PIECES and steps enables you to actively work toward your hopes for the year. If you are not sure where to start or how to break things down, use an app, accountability partner, or coach to help you take the next step on your path to success.

Here's to a great new year!

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