Get SMART with your New Year's Resolutions

writing down a list of goals on a piece of paper.

Setting goals is essential to personal growth and career achievement. But if your resolutions are too broad or don’t
include deadlines, it is much easier to abandon or forget them. As the saying goes, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.”

In contrast, using a business-tested SMART goal structure can actually help you clarify your wishes, turn your goals into action items, and provide you with an outline for success. Compare the broad goal, “I want to improve my time management this year,” with the following SMART goal template example.


person writing notebook


Make sure your goal is simple and well defined. Setting more focused mini-goals will help you take small steps toward your overall goal.

ASK YOURSELF: What will the goal accomplish? How and why will it be accomplished?
EXAMPLE: I want to improve my time- management skills to meet all necessary deadlines and keep commitments in my personal and family life.



girl tying sneaker on bed


Make sure that your goal contains criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment of the goal.

ASK YOURSELF: How will I measure whether I am on track to meet my goal? (List at least two indicators.)
EXAMPLE: I will reflect on my week every Friday afternoon. Did my time management skills improve? Was I better at meeting deadlines and committing time to vital tasks?



modern wall clock


The goal should challenge you but be obtainable in a manageable time frame.

ASK YOURSELF: Is it possible? Do I have the resources?
EXAMPLE: I want to use tools like a calendar, to-do lists and productivity apps to improve my time-management skills.



man thinking


Make sure the goal you’ve chosen matters to you.

ASK YOURSELF: What is the reason, purpose, or benefit of accomplishing the goal? Is this the right time?
EXAMPLE: Better time-management skills will improve my professional success and personal relationships






Make sure to be specific when setting a target date.

ASK YOURSELF: Is this enough time to reach my goal? Did I give myself too much time for this goal?
EXAMPLE: I will experience noticeable time-management improvement by the end of this month.



Blog Post Courtesy of Reminder Media.