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Get SMART about New Years Resolution

The winter holiday is now over, if you’re like most people you’re planning to start fresh again with some goals like weight loss, getting your finances in order or even career development.
Did you set any goals at the beginning of 2014?  If you did, how many were you able to successfully complete?
If you’ve ever had difficulties completing goals, then you may need an action plan. This means making SMART goals, which are:

  1. Specific—know exactly what it is you want to accomplish. Goals that aren’t detailed or vague can make you lose focus, so have an idea about precisely what you want and keep your eyes on the prize.
  2. Measurable—are you getting closer to your goals or further away? The only way to tell is if you have some way to measure progress.
  3. Attainable—set goals that are realistic and challenging. If it’s not challenging to reach the final destination, the impact of success may not feel as great compared to if you really had to stretch yourself. Make sure that whatever goals you make; you’re not taking shortcuts.  An example is if you want to lose weight, it’s not healthy to lose more than 1 – 2 pounds a week, so pace yourself accordingly.  Taking shortcuts may help you see results more quickly but it could wear you out in the long term, especially if the goal is related to a change in lifestyle.
  4. Relevant—Why is this goal important to you? When you’re asking yourself this question, whatever answer you come up with, it should resonate with both the heart and the mind. If you set up a goal only because it makes sense logically but your heart is not committed to the goal, then it will feel more like a chore instead of a nice challenge to take on.
  5. Timely—a goal that has no end date has no priorities. So as you set up your goals think about how realistic it is to complete given your capacity to manage both workload and family life.

The secret to making SMART goals work is to review  them from time to time. If you’re off track, take a look at the goal’s relevance, if it’s no longer important to you and it was related to something like savings, try to think of something else you could save toward to continue pursuing the goal.  If the goal is still important to you, then it may mean that you need to tweak the end date to make it more realistic for yourself.
Take the first step of goal planning by writing it down. Sharing your goals with friends and family will keep you accountable for what you set out to do. And most importantly, don’t give up!
If your goal is to pay down your Winter Holiday debt, checkout:  Momentum’s Budget Planner to see where you can find the money or expenses to cut back on to pay off your debt.