This year, I joined the ranks of those who have a Home to travel to for the holidays (you know, as opposed to already being Home). Leaving sunny San Diego for a wintery Denver Colorado, I found even more joy in the holiday season since it served as a much needed reunion with my family and friends!

Though going Home for Christmas was new to me this season, one thing that I’ve always loved about the holidays is the start of a new year, and the chance to start fresh with new adventures and goals. Rounding out the last day of 2014, I can’t help but contemplate my resolutions for next year (I know some of you are doing this too)! When it comes to goal setting, the coach in me wants to make sure that anything I set out to do is fashioned in a SMART format; that is, Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Results-based, and Time-oriented.

According to a study done by the University of Scranton, while 45% of Americans usually make New Year’s resolutions, only 8% of people are successful in keeping their resolutions (see some of the stats summarized here).

blog photo resolutions

Hmmm. It seems to me that many people aren’t making their resolutions SMART! But, even when the SMART format is used, there are other very important (mindset-related) elements to include to ensure your goals will be met. Consider my top 3 tips for making a SMART goal even smarter:

  1. Find your motivation. This is the why behind the goal. Sometimes a SMART format will include Motivation instead of Measurable, but I believe they are both crucial for success. Ask yourself, why do I want to achieve this goal? Is it really important to me or do I simply feel like I should be working on it? What do I stand to gain by reaching this goal?
  2. Choose goals that are priorities. I’m sure many of us could come up with a handful of goals that we’d love to achieve. But the truth is, there will only ever be 24 hours in a day and many other things to get done as well. Adding in new goals means taking time that you aren’t currently taking to work on them. Instead of overwhelming yourself with many new goals, pick one or two that you feel are most important or will have the greatest impact on your life, and focus solely on them.
  3. Make ’em dream-driven. Yes, SMART goals ought to be attainable. But I also believe the cliche “where there’s a will there’s a way.” That is, you can do anything you set your mind to. Making your goals and resolutions relevant to life aspirations will foster greater personal growth, which is perhaps the most vital component of thriving (not to mention the reason to set goals in the first place).

Whether you’re working on your resolutions for 2015, or maybe a goal for the next few weeks, months, or years, combining these elements with the SMART format can definitely help keep you on track!

Happy New Year’s everyone! I’d love to hear some of your resolutions in the comments 🙂