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New Year, S.M.A.R.T. Goals

Happy new year, OMPT Friends!

Traditionally the new year brings a host of "new years resolutions" to bring about the change we are looking for in our health, personal life, or professional life. While the new year is an excellent time to revisit these areas, resolutions often fail because they are vague and lack details to make them more of a plan than a wish. Resolutions can feel like things we "should do," whereas concrete goals can give us focus and direction. Goal setting rather than resolutions can help bring motivation and action to our hopes for the new year.

A tried and true method of setting better goals is to utilize the S.M.A.R.T. criteria when establishing goals. S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. The S.M.A.R.T. goal framework helps us gain clarity with well-defined and actionable goals that allow us to develop a plan.

  • Specific: The goal should be clear and well-defined. This allows us to track progress towards accomplishment and know when we have achieved the goal.

  • Measurable: The goal should be quantifiable to measure progress along the way. Objective information allows us to look forward and backward as we progress.

  • Attainable: The goal should be realistic based on where we are currently; the goal should be challenging but not unrealistic.

  • Relevant: This goal should be meaningful to you and your broader personal, professional, or lifestyle goals.

  • Time-bound: The goal should have a clear deadline. By defining the start and end of working towards a goal, you can better plan your path to getting there; you will also increase your sense of urgency to accomplishment when you give yourself a deadline.

Here is an example of a resolution: I want to ride my bike more this year.

Here is an example of a S.M.A.R.T. goal: I will bike 1000 miles by Dec. 31st, 2022.

  • Specific: 1000 miles biked in one year, no room for vague interpretations.

  • Measurable: 1000 miles; I will use Strava on every ride to document my miles as they accumulate.

  • Attainable: Last year, I rode about 750 miles; this is a challenge but not too far off from what I have done in the past.

  • Relevant: I love riding. It brings both physical and mental benefits to my overall well-being.

  • Time-bound: I have set a deadline of Dec. 31st, 2022, to accumulate 1000 miles ridden.

How to set a S.M.A.R.T. goal for yourself for 2022:

  1. Specific: determine what you want.

  2. Measurable: Identify what success looks like for this goal (make it quantifiable).

  3. Achievable: Make sure your goal is reasonable based on where you start.

  4. Relevant: Make sure your goal aligns with your broader goals.

  5. Time-bound: Set a deadline to accomplish your goal.

Feel free to send us your goals and share! When you share your goals with others, you are more likely to accomplish them, and it's nice to have some support along the way.

Happy goal setting,

Nicole Todisco MacDonald.

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