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With the arrival of the New Year everyone has at least one resolution in mind.  However as the year goes on most people have either giving up their resolution all together or they have changed it to better fit their more realistic needs. I’m not trying to deter you from change I’m trying to get you to understand that the problem isn’t the resolution the problem is the plan. I recently learned about something called a S.M.A.R.T Goal and while I’m a be honest in saying I hated learning it at the time, when I sat down to really think about all the things I failed to complete the lesson wasn’t so bad. What I learned is that in order to ensure that I achieved my goal I had to have more than the goal itself. It’s not even that you need a plan because everyone has a plan. Your success lies in details. And that’s where the S.M.A.R.T goal comes into place.

S. Specific. This is the easiest of the steps for me because it is being clear about what you want. It doesn’t really matter if you goal is to stop smoking, start working out, find a better job or become more socially active. It’s your goal and it’s important because it’s the thing that you want to change/achieve for yourself.

M. Measurable. This is the part of the goal that lets you know you are your on the right path. Let's just say your goal is to become healthy. The measurable part would be in saying that you are going to progress from being able to exercise for 30 minutes to an hour.  This is also the step that you need to focus on what it is you already have to help you towards your goal. If you already have a gym membership or if you have videos or cookbooks.

A. Attainable. Measuring something and having it be attainable are completely different even though on the surface they look the same. When you’re making sure that it’s attainable you need to make sure anything needed for your goal to succeed is available. For example if you say you want to get in shape within 6 months you need to make sure that you have a workout routine in place or time to actually spend in the gym. For me this is the most important step because it’s the one that can either make or break you success.

R. Relevant. Making sure your goal is relevant to your life is the step that helps motivate you to stick with it. When ever you feel like giving up all you have to do is think back to why it was important to start in the first place. No more how small or big your goal is you had a personal reason for starting it and it's best to keep it in your mind.

T. Time Bound. Setting a realistic time for your goal to be completed. I say realistic because I have seen some people say that they went to jump from a size 20 to a size 6 in 5 months. I understand that there are some extreme ways that that could happen however you want to make sure that you set a time frame that is safe and allows room for minor set backs. Factor in what's needed and if you need to set smaller goals inside your overall goal to keep you on track. An example could be decreasing your cigarette intake by 2 every month. With an over all goal of quitting within 6 months. 

So that's the S.M.A.R.T Goal. I know that this article is all about breaking the New Year's resolution curse but this model can be applied to anything in your life. No matter what you wish to accomplish I wish you much success. 

Priscilla D Robinson is the Author of Love's Moodswings: The Discovery, the Choice, and the Surrender to Love. Her debut book is a collection of three short stories that focus on different forms of love. Recently she began the task of writing down what her mind showed her and thus began her writing journey. When she is not off in a dream world she lives in Connecticut with her daughter. Robinson is currently a student at the University of Bridgeport for a bachelor's degree in Human Service. Her favorite saying is the sky is always purple somewhere in the world which means anything is possible if you know where to look for it.



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