It’s almost New Year’s Day, a time of year when resolutions to do better abound. For example, a lot of people are likely vowing to go to the gym more this year. But that goal is vague, which makes it harder to implement. That’s why I prefer SMART goals.
In use since at 1981 (by George Doran in Management Review), this acronym specifies a type of goal that is easier to pin down. They are
So to improve on the generic goal of working out more, you could clarify the resolution according to the SMART template as follows: I will spend 45 minutes at the gym on Tuesdays and Thursdays every week. The goal is now specific (45 minutes at the gym), measurable (“Do. Or do not. There is no try”), achievable (hopefully), relevant (definitely), and time-bound (twice a week).
Even if we don’t meet every goal we create, at least this way you know whether you did or not. And all you can do is keep trying! And yes, that is going to be my New Year’s resolution. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.