Setting New Year’s resolutions is a time-honored tradition and the start of a New Year is a perfect time to make plans for the future.
One approach I have found success for making future plans is using a 100 day timeline with the SMART approach. Rather than planning 12 month’s in advance, I plan for the next 100 days, and work back to day 1. It will become clear the steps that are needed each day to accomplish the final goal, this allow’s for more focus and greater chance of success.
The issue with long-term goals, like New Year’s resolutions, is that life often gets in the way. You cannot control the future and your goal in the beginning of the year may need to be adjusted. By setting 100 day goals, there is a much smaller time frame for change, and a short enough time commitment to gain a sense of control without feeling overwhelmed and quitting. A big part of accomplishing any goal is to feel that one’s actions are making a difference, and the feeling of a sense of empowerment to continue on the path of change. The big picture yearly goal becomes less daunting and more attainable as the days progress.
Let’s take a closer look at how you can successfully set SMART goals for the First 100 Days of the New Year.
What are SMART Goals?
SMART is an acronym that can guide you to choosing a goal. You are much more likely to find success and avoid frustration if your goals are SMART. Here is what SMART stands for:
Specific – Your goal should be something concrete and simple. For example, if you want to exercise more, your specific goal could be to exercise for 30 minutes a day for 3 days a week.
Measurable – There should be a way to measure your goal. You can use an app or pen and paper to keep track of your workouts.
Achievable – Your goal should not be impossible. For example, if you want to work out more but you hardly ever exercise, then setting a goal to work out five days a week is achievable. However, your goal should also be realistic, which leads us to the next point.
Realistic – Make sure your goal is something you will do. If you think you can go from never working out to exercising five days a week, then that is great. However, a more realistic goal might be to work out for three days per week instead.
Time-bound – Setting an end date for your goal will keep you on track and motivated. You are much more likely to stick to a new way of eating or an exercise program if you know you can go back to your old habits at the end. Using the 100 day timeframe is long enough to see results but not to far off in the future.
Setting goals is very important, and studies show those who write down their goals are 80% more likely to accomplish them. They will help you become stronger, healthier, and happier. Using SMART goals and planning 100 days at a time will help you meet your goals quickly and successfully. You’ll be much more motivated to keep going after the first 100 days and work towards newer, more exciting goals as your year progresses.
So, take the time to set some goals this New Year. It’s not a resolution that you will drop, but a real goal that you will achieve!