S.M.A.R.T. resolutions are solutions to New Year's pollutions

Posted Thursday, January 17, 2008 - 12:00am

"I hate New Year's resolutions," is what lot of

people say this time of year. Why is that? Because

people hate looking at their faults. New Year's resolutions

are a personal thing. Usually, we plan to either

stop doing something we do not want to do, or to

start something we want to do. It is an opportunity

to transform our lives for the better. Awareness of

what we want to do for a New Year's resolution is

the first step.


First of all, if you are making resolutions, make

sure you put as much time and effort into planning

out your resolutions as you do in carrying them out.

A lot of people spend so much time planning what

resolutions they are going to make, that by the time

they get to those resolutions, they are sick of them

and have no motivation.


There is a goal setting strategy called S.M.A.R.T.

S.M.A.R.T stands for specifi c, measurable, attainable,

realistic and timely. If you can remember those

fi ve words and apply them to setting goals, you will

always be successful.


Being specifi c in your goal making simply means

being straightforward. Focus your efforts and clearly

defi ne what you want to accomplish when setting

your goal. Be specifi c and know how, what, and

why you want to create and meet that goal.


Setting measurable goals means choosing a goal

in which you can see the changing process. How

will you determine when you have reached your

goal? Be specifi c! For example, if you want to lose

weight, do not set a goal for losing 50 pounds in the

next two months. Start gradually and then increase

the goal you have set once you have reached it. Try

and be more realistic by setting a goal to lose maybe

10 pounds in two months.


A goal needs to stretch you slightly so you feel

you can do it and it will need a real commitment

from you. Setting attainable goals not only goes

along with physically being able to accomplish your

goal, but also along with fi nancial ability and skills

required. If you've never taken an art class in your

life and you're a poor college student, don't set a

goal to paint a masterpiece.


Realistic goal setting is not another word for

"easy." In this case, realistic means "do-able." The

best way to make a goal do-able is to have a plan.

Just make sure you set the standard high enough so

that you are actually working towards something

attainable.


If you really want to set a goal and accomplish

it, give yourself a timeline. This gives you a clear

target to work towards, making it a lot easier to accomplish.

Without a timeline, your goal is indistinct

and you won't feel the need to sit down and start

going towards your goal.


A big problem that people face when making

resolutions is that they try to set so many goals that

they are impossible to accomplish. One tip is do

not set too many goals, because if you do, you will

fi nd that many of them will never happen. Also, do

not try to set a goal that is unreachable. Instead of

setting goals that are impossible to reach, try some

that are much more plausible.


Now, something that can be good to try is breaking

a bad habit you have found yourself getting into.

Maybe you hear people are bothered by your profanity

and feel like you should try to not swear so much.

Make a goal that you will decrease the profanity

that you use. To encourage this goal, try to carry

something around with you that will remind you of

that goal. It can be an accessory that you can carry

on your key chain, in your pocket or on your fi nger

that will remind you to stop swearing.


Another thing that tends to be helpful is having

someone to help you accomplish your goals. If working

out is something you want to do, try and find

someone to go with, that way you made someone

else pushing you to do it instead of just yourself.

It is much easier to get something done when you

have someone else to do it with you. Also, if you

are trying to stop a habit, tell your friends you made

that goal, and they will remind you if you are not

accomplishing your goal. Having a friendly reminder

from someone can make all the difference.


So what other types of goals should we be setting,

besides trying to make ourselves better or fi x a bad

habit? Some really good goals we could set would

be ones that will make the world a better place now

and for our posterity. Setting a goal to recycle more

often is a great way of doing this. There are so many

things that we throw away that can be recycled; I

know because there is a huge, long list of those items

under my calendar at home. I know that you probably

do not want to do that when you are at college; there

is not really any place to put the recycled items, and

with the hectic college lifestyle, there is not really

time to take the items to a recycling center once you

get enough to make it worth the effort.


There are other goals you can make to make

the world a better place. You could decide not to

buy water bottles anymore (they take a long time to

decompose and so the land fi lls are full of them), or

you could decide to fi nally register to vote and fi gure

out which candidate is the right one for you, or you

could get the best education you can, then encourage

your children to do the same, or decide to carpool

to school and work, take shorter showers, or turn

off lights as you leave the room. They can be big if

you want (as long as you keep them reasonable, of

course), or minor as simple as turning off the water

while you brush your teeth.


Always remember to set goals to accomplish, but

do not be so obnoxious that there is no way of completing

all the goals you are trying to do. There are

ups and downs to setting goals just like everything

else. Do not try to set too steep of a goal, or you

will only fall short and become

discouraged. Try to fi nd someone

to help you out; one person

can make all the difference.


And fi nally, make sure

you make goals not

only for yourself,

but also for your

posterity.

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My New Year's Resolution is to wear more tank tops this year! Underarm laser hair removal means no more shaving.

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