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How are those New Year's Goals going?

Well we made it through the first month of 2021. Maybe it doesn't seem any different than 2020 so far. Maybe you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder which can certainly intensify in January. Maybe you have already broken your resolutions? Whatever the case for January is, it's never too late to regroup and refocus. Goal setting should be very fluid and adaptable. In therapy we refer to this as SMART goals. This stands for:


S- Specific

M- Measurable

A- Attainable

R- Relevant

T- Time Bound


This acronym can help you remember the parameters around goal setting so it can be most effective for you. When people feel stuck or like they haven't made enough progress yet, I like to look over these reminders with them. For some, they may be setting goals that are longer in nature. For others, it may not be measurable enough to know how to really grade yourself. For instance, a poorly worded goal is "I want to lose weight." Now, technically you could say you achieved this after one day of dieting and one pound off the scale. Is that really what you were going for? Probably not. Using SMART goals you can rephrase something like this: I want to lose 10 pounds by eating healthy and exercising 3 days a week for the next 90 days. This tells me exactly my goal (10 pounds), how I'm going to do it (eat healthy and exercise 3 days a week) and how long I have to reach it (90 days). It's also attainable in the sense that my expectations are not outside the parameters of what I can actually accomplish. Or in others words, it's reachable.


If you are stuck on your New Year's Goals already, try using the SMART advice and re-work those goals. Be reasonable about what you can take on right now and don't forget that this pandemic may change what you are able to do. Goals can always be adjusted, so once the pandemic is over (and it will be one day!) then you can re-set your goals and increase certain areas if you need to.


So what will your goals be? Think outside the box and look at your whole self-mind, body and spirit. Don't just focus on how you look.


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