New Year, New You?
By: Jaime Langosch, MA
Happy 2022! It’s that time of year again… you know that time; New Year’s resolutions. Some may find this time to be stressful and while yes, that is true, I find this a great time to learn about setting goals!
Why do we set goals?
For plenty of reasons but to name a few: try new things, become healthier, spend more time with our
families, etc. When these goals are met, I think it’s fair to say we get a little boost in our confidence right?
How do I set goals?
Glad you asked. We set goals using the SMART technique. This technique is accredited to a 1981 issue
of a Management Review magazine that was later expanded upon by a professor at St. Louis University into our current use of this skill. SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. Let’s dig into each a bit more.
When creating a New Years resolution, the first is creating a specific goal that answers our “W”
questions: Who, What, Where, Why. Some questions to consider are: Who is involved in this goal? What is the importance of this goal? Where will it be accomplished? Why this goal now? Being specific helps develop a clear understanding of our goal and the steps needed to take to achieve this.
How will we know we are actually reaching our goal if we can not measure it? There must be some
aspect to this that we can measure our progress. Some questions to consider are: How will I know this
goal is accomplished? How much of something is needed?
If we are creating a goal this isn’t achievable, what is the point? Let’s set achievable goals so that we can
actually reach them and boost our confidence! Some questions to consider are: Do I have the resources
needed to meet this goal? Are there restraints setting me back from reaching this goal?
The goal you are setting must be relevant and simply make sense. Some questions to consider are: Does
this matter to me? Is this an appropriate time to be setting this goal?
Every goal must have some start and end. In order to do so, a date must be added; days, weeks, months,
or a specific date. Some questions to consider are: Does my goal have a deadline? What can I accomplish today/next week/ next month? When do I want to achieve this by?
Let me give you a quick example for the adults here: I want to use one of my five new cookbooks to try new recipes and enhance my cooking skills. I will do this one time per week from the start of 2022 until the end of 2022. I will mark which recipes I have tried to help keep track.
Now let me switch it up for the kiddos! I commonly hear: I want to be the best at somethine! Sounds great and I applaud you for that! However, that’s not a SMART goal. Here would be a way to reframe that: I will read 20 minutes every night over summer before bedtime starting on 5/9/2022 so I can improve my reading skills. I will do this by setting a timer for 20 minutes every night and read until the timer goes off.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and I wish you the best of luck on your journey to creating a SMART New Year’s resolution!
Smart goals. Corporate Finance Institute. (2021, July 23). Retrieved December 9, 2021, from
Smart goals: – how to make your goals achievable. Time Management Training From
MindTools.com. (n.d.). Retrieved December 9, 2021, from https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/smart-goals.htm.