With the New Year approaching, many of us will see this as the opportunity to start fresh, to write a new chapter in our lives and create a New Year’s resolution. Sadly for many, this new chapter ends early in the year and we digress from the new path we have taken, falling back into our old habits.

What if achieving the change we desire came down to something simple, like reframing the way we look at the term ‘New Year’s resolution’.

A New Year’s resolution is a firm decision made on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day to do or refrain from doing something over the course of the coming year. Essentially, in one day, we are forbidding ourselves from doing something we love or making a promise to ourselves to achieve something that can often be unattainable.

Picture this scenario: New Year’s Eve approaches and you’re slumped on the couch determined to finish every chocolate in the cupboard before commencing that New Year diet, or downloading every fitness app to get that burst of motivation to run 5kms. But by Easter, it’s back to the couch bathing in cream egg goodness and all the fitness apps have been deleted to remove the guilt.

Sound familiar?

For those working in an office environment – or anywhere – daily life revolves around goals. Whether it’s project-based or driven by daily tasks, you can find success in creating SMART goals to allow you to flourish in your working life.

SMART is an acronym for the 5 elements of specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-related goals. It’s a simple tool used to turn fluffy goal setting into an actionable plan.

Let’s elaborate each of these further:

Specific. Describe exactly what you are going to do, avoid vague statements like “I’m going to exercise more”. Make sure that your goal answers the who, what, and when.

Measurable. Making your goals measurable makes it easy to know when you have reached the goal. For instance, “I will drink 2 litres of water per day”. Making your goal measurable means adding a number.

Achievable. Goals should be challenging, but achievable. Goals work best when they are realistic and take into account your current situation. For instance, if you are beginning to run, completing a 5km fun run is more achievable to most than completing a marathon for your first run.

Relevant. The goal should seem important and beneficial to you. You need to have an emotional connection with this goal. For instance, losing weight to improve your overall health or saving money to purchase your first home.

Time-related. Without having a deadline, a goal is simply a dream.

Setting a goal is not a recipe for success but it’s a great way to give yourself direction, focus and motivation.

As we bid farewell to 2017, challenge the way you look at New Year’s Resolutions and adopt a SMART approach for 2018.

Grab a pen and download our free SMART goals worksheet to start working towards some personal goals for 2018.