How to Make Resolutions That Last

Posted December 27, 2019 by Emz Chang in college, Life / 0 Comments

Set Better Resolutions - how to create smarter goals you'll actually achieve

If you’re anything like me, this year was full of resolutions that just didn’t last. Some stuck, but others… not so much. Here’s how to set better resolutions for the new year that you may actually achieve. And don’t worry, I stole these tips from my professor because clearly, I need some help in the goal setting department too.

I mean, I can’t be the only one that has reached what I like to call “eh, I tried” *cue shrug* time of year sometime mid March February. Also known as the “I’m done!” quitting season. The reason we’re, sorry, I fell off the wagon is a simple one – my wagon wasn’t built to last. (Okay, that and lack of motivation, but that’s a topic for another day).

Basically, I didn’t set smart goals. Not that they were dumb, they just weren’t S.M.A.R.T. goals. SMART as in an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-based. Depending on who you ask, what each letter stands for may vary but the general gist is always the same. Let me break it down.

SMART Goals

Specific

The idea is to make your goals detailed. It is not enough to say “I want to read more” since that’s a really broad statement. What do you want to read more of? What is “more” defined as? So to improve that goal, and make it SMARTer, instead of just “wanting to read more”, let’s narrow it down.

Revised goal: I want to read 100 books, at least 20 from my physical shelves, and 10 adult horror stories.

Measurable

Now that my goal is now more specific, we have to make sure that its success and progress can be measured. This one is pretty easy – the more books I read, the closer I am to reaching my goal. Goodreads challenge, anyone? Measurable? Check!

Achievable

Ha! This one is probably my favorite. Is the goal achievable? 100 books in a year? Me?!? Yeah, nope. I don’t think I’ve read more than 70 books a year since like 2011. 100 books is completely out of reach (for me).

But “achievable-ness” can get a bit messy. I mean, 5 books is certainly achievable. But is that a worthy goal for someone? Not really. To me, the point of a goal is to reach something that isn’t easily accessible. You want to push the envelope a bit so the goal shouldn’t be too too easy to reach either.

Reading 100 books is too much but 5 is too easy. So where does that leave me? Well, let’s think of what I know I can achieve. I’ve consistently read around 30 books a year for the last few years. So my goal is going to be at least 30 books. Let’s push it a little and make it 40. And while we’re at it, let’s adjust the other side goals.

Revised goal: read 40 books, 7 from my shelves, and 3 adult horror stories.

Relevant

Is this goal relevant to my overall objective? Will it help me get where I want to go?

For the most part, the goal is pretty relevant. I want to read more books and I need to read books I already own. Adult horror, though? There’s little benefit for including them in my goal – I mainly blog about YA books and I don’t exactly enjoy reading horror. Like, at all. Adult horror is not relevant to me personally or my bookish life within this community in any way, which makes it an irrelevant goal so it gets the axe.

Revised goal: read 40 books & 7 from my shelves 3 adult horror stories.

Time-Based

I’m almost done! This last one is to simply put the goal on a schedule. Which I think, goes without saying, New Year Resolution’s have a set timeframe. After all, the whole idea is to do this goal, or reach this objective though/by the end of the year.

If you’re like me and want to micromanage, you can break the goal down even further. A year is a really long time. And I may or may not be prone to procrastination. So, I’m going to edit my goal a bit to ensure I’m consistently working to reach my goal instead of going for a last minute rush at the end.

Revised Goal: read 40 books this year total, at least one per month with 7 of them coming off my shelf.

In Conclusion

Bascially the point of SMART goals is to think about your goals in a more in-depth manner. You’re more likely to achieve goals that you have more information about.

I hope you found this post helpful!
What are some of your new New Year Resolutions?

Emz Chang

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