SMART Semantics

Are you setting yourself up for failure due to semantics? No more “resolutions”.

The dictionary says a Resolution is a formal expression of intent .

The dictionary says a Goal is an objective toward which effort is directed.

So What?

Is a “Resolution” merely saying something out loud that we want to do?

Does a “Goal” imply that a certain amount of effort or action is required to achieve it?

Any goal you set – whether it’s during the New Year or anytime of the year – should be measurable and achievable. Many people will resolve to change something in their lives, but have no way to measure it’s success. You can’t have a resolution that says: “Exercise more” because there’s no way to determine if you’ve ever actually achieved it.

Instead you need to have a specific task list that allows you to achieve your goal . You could set the goal as: “Exercise on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for 30 minutes each day.” — that is a measurable goal and you’ll know immediately if you have achieved it or not.

Need some help setting your goals? The SMART system is a great place to start.

Goals must be:
S = Specific
M = Measurable
A = Attainable
R = Realistic
T = Timely

Specific
Goals should be straightforward and emphasize what you want to happen. Specifics help us to focus our efforts and clearly define what we are going to do. Ensure the goals you set is very specific, clear and easy.

Measurable
Choose a goal with measurable progress, so you can see the change occur. Establish concrete criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment of each goal you set. When you measure your progress, adjust your course for changes and stay on track to reach your goals.

Attainable
Be sure to set goals that you can attain with some effort! Too difficult and you set the stage for failure, but too low sends the message that you aren’t very capable. Set the bar high enough for a satisfying achievement!

Realistic
Realistic, in this case, means “do-able.” The goal needs to be realistic for you and where you are at the moment.

Timely
Set a time frame for the goal: for next week, in three months, in one year, etc. Putting an end point on your goal gives you a clear target to work towards. If you don’t set a time, the commitment is too vague. Without a time limit, there’s no urgency to start taking action now.

Happy New Year and Happy Goal Setting!

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