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How to set SMART attainable goals

Last Modified: January 03, 2022

Healthy Mind


The changing of the calendar often signals a fresh start and a chance for change. The most common resolutions include losing weight, giving up smoking, getting organized, drinking less and getting more sleep. Whether your intentions fall in line with one of these or you have your sights set on something completely different, Alisha Otis, wellness coach, Parkview Center for Healthy Living, has some guidance to help get you there.

4 Steps for New Year’s Resolution Success

1. Set SMART goals. Goals are easier to achieve if they are specific and not too numerous.

Specific - Should identify a specific action or event that will take place.
Measurable - The goal should be quantifiable.
Achievable - Is the initial step possible? Consider the action steps needed to achieve this goal.
Reasonable - The goal should have enough challenge, but allow the likelihood of success (is the goal realistic?)
Timeframe - The goal should state the time period in which it will be accomplished.

2. Set at the most only three goals at one time. Having too many goals limits the amount of attention and willpower you can devote to reaching any single goal.  Too many goals can create a barrier to success.

3. Always have a source of accountability and support. Ask yourself, “Who do you know that will encourage, support and challenge you in this change?”. 

  • Having a partner to be accountable to will also help you work harder. Finding support helps you work through your fears and self-doubt as you are journeying past “the fence” or the place where you may have always turned back before.
  • Many times our own lack of follow through is our own worst enemy.
  • Accountability:
    • Helps work through fears and self-doubt
    • Provides continued support
    • You are far more likely to complete your desired outcome.
  • Accountability guidelines:
    • Start with solid, attainable goals and action steps
    • Determine what accountability you need and how you need them to hold you accountable
    • Track for success

4. Celebrate the wins! Research shows those who reward or celebrate themselves have a greater chance of success in reaching their goals. When you do something that has a pleasant result, you are likely to do it again. By doing it repeatedly, you will eventually associate it with pleasurable experiences in your life.


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