When the clock strikes twelve and the New Year rolls around, we are all excited and eager to get to work on carrying out all of the New Year’s Resolutions we’ve mapped out. It’s a new year with a clean slate and there’s always that refreshing feeling of starting over. However, some of us find ourselves treating our resolutions like AT&T rollover minutes. Why is it that the same resolutions keep finding their way on your list year after year? We create extremely broad resolutions like “lose 20 pounds” or “save more money” but find ourselves mid-way through the year slacking off on what we wished to achieve or some of us fall completely off the wagon.

The first step to meeting your resolutions is to set attainable, SMART goals. There are five ways to set SMART goals:

Specific. Make your goals focused and well-defined. Make sure they are clear and exact. Your goals should answer the Five W’s (Who, What, When, Where, Why) and How. They should also have a specification on how you plan on going about meeting this goals, so for example if the goal is to “save more money,” getting more specific by instead saying each week I am going to work on my goal of saving money by opening up a savings account and depositing $25 each pay allows your goals to be less broad and more visible in results.

Measurable. When you set a goal, you should also create a plan or strategy as to how you will go about accomplishing this goal. If the goal is measurable, which it should be, you will be able to track your progress at specific checkpoints. So if you’re goal is to “lose 20 pounds” Be specific by instead opting to lose two pounds a week that way at the end of each week you can track your progress on the scale to see whether you’re meeting your goal.

Attainable. Make your goals attainable within the deadline you have set. As career women or women on a mission, our to-do list are usually a mile long and very often we never get to some of those things on our list in one day. By setting goals that are attainable you have to ask yourself first, are these goals realistic? If you wish to save money each week, is it in your budget to be able to set aside money to deposit into a savings account? Should the amount be higher or lower? If you want to lose weight have you mapped out enough time each day or week to devote to meeting your goal? If time is an obstacle, what are some alternative solutions to meeting your goal?

Relevant. Are your goals relevant to your career path? As a young entrepreneur, if your dream career isn’t your current career, finding a healthy work-life balance can be difficult. Staying on track and working toward goals that are going to get you closer to your dream can be difficult when you’re bogged down my actual work’s work. Make sure the goals you are setting are relevant to your dream.

Time-based. Give yourself a deadline on reaching your goals and make sure the deadline is realistic.

Mapping out the things that need to be done in order to achieve goals or complete New Year’s resolutions is as easy as five simple steps known as SMART goals. By following this method of effective goal setting, it organizes tasks, and allows for more attainable and visible results that make losing 20 pounds or whatever goals you have a piece of cake (no pun intended).

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