Setting S.M.A.R.T goals for the 2019 New Year

By Shannon Johnson

For many people there is something to be said about the fresh feeling that comes with a new year. It begins the start of a blank 365-page chapter in the book that is our lives, only to be marked with ink by the pen that is in our very own hands. It’s a chance to learn from the failures of the previous year, set new goals, and try to be the best versions of ourselves. That’s probably why so many of us create resolutions for the New Year.

Multiple estimates suggest that the number of people who set resolutions for the New Year is somewhere around 40%. With that many people adamant to make each year better than the last, it wouldn’t be an outlandish assumption to think that there are a whole lot of happy, healthy, wealthy people roaming around, but unfortunately the University of Scranton researched this subject and found that only 8% of people achieve their goals for New Year.

Many self-proclaimed self-improvement experts believe that they have the key to help people plan and achieve their goals: S.M.A.R.T goal setting. This means that when you think of a goal that you want to reach it should meet all the following criteria: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely.

This year when you find yourself struggling with fulfilling your goals, ask yourself if it’s something vague like financial security, or if it’s specific like having thirty thousand dollars in your savings account. If it’s specific, make sure that it is measurable. Find out how much money you want to be setting aside each week and track your progress. From there, check to see if that is even attainable. If you want to have thirty-thousand dollars in your savings account by the end of the year, but you’re only able to put two thousand dollars away each month, you may need to adjust your goal accordingly. After that you should ensure that your goal is relevant to you. Make sure you are aware if it’s more important to you than what you must put in in order to achieve it and understand why it is important to you. Finally, to make sure it is timely, set deadlines for yourself. If you want to save thirty thousand dollars in a year, budget and set a timeline, check in with your deadlines frequently, and adjust accordingly.

Michael Altshuler once said, “The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.” Where are you flying to in 2019?