• SMART Start to the New Year

    Ending one year and starting another can come with a mixed bag of feelings.  It is naturally a time of reflection about accomplishments, future goals, regrets, doubts, etc.  It also opens vulnerability to self-criticism and pressure to perform better over the next year.  If left unchecked, this criticism and pressure can have negative effects on mental health and hinder progress toward goals.

    How people set goals can have a profound impact on success and how they feel about the progress they make.  Adopting principles from the SMART goals acronym can help make the goal setting process less overwhelming and more effective.  The SMART goals acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.  When goals hit on all of these points it increases the chances of success, enhances sense accomplishment, and builds confidence about setting and attaining future goals.

    • Specific: Make sure your goal is as defined as possible.  What exactly do you want to accomplish?
    • Measurable: What are the indicators that this goal has been achieved? How will you know when you have met your goal?
    • Achievable: Is this goal possible?  Do I have the necessary skills and resources to accomplish this goal?
    • Relevant: Is this goal worth my time? Is this goal in line with my values? How will this goal better my life?
    • Time-bound: It is important to give yourself a limit for when this goal will be completed.  This increases focus and accountability.  When do I want to have this goal accomplished? Is this a realistic timeframe?

    Using the SMART goal format is a good tool that can be practiced consistently.    It can be incorporated into daily life. The SMART goal acronym is most easily applied to shorter-term goals.  Setting and achieving multiple SMART goals adds up and also trains the brain to think about and approach goals in a more controlled way.  When the time comes to reflect on a year that is ending and start a new one, the SMART goal acronym can be a great resource!

    For more in-depth information about the SMART goal acronym, please refer to this link:  https://www.mindtools.com/a4wo118/smart-goals

    Created By:
    Erika Poladian, LMFT

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