New Goals with Nina Kosubevsky
Every year as the new year approaches, social media, television advertisements, and the like bombard us as a society with messages about starting fresh, doing something new, or making changes: To go to the gym finally, to end the year on a high note by eliminating the toxic elements of our lives, etc.
You may feel like as the new year approaches, you need to make a change, but you may not be completely certain as to what that change should be, will be, or even what you want it to be. It’s easy to fall into the trap of setting goals simply for the purpose of setting them, without having a direction or a purpose in mind.
As the new year begins, and you find yourself trying to figure out where you want your life to go, I sat down with Nina to discuss ways that you can be smarter about the changes you want to make in your life. What follows is her reflections on the new year and how to make the changes you most want to make.
A New Year, a New Goal Setting Strategy to Change Your Life
We often hear clients say they want to start a new goal, but the issue is that they say this every year and never follow through. As I reflected on why this happens, it occurred to me the reason may be that we often aren’t smart in how we go about setting our plan for change. This is often the first step in your being able to follow through with your goals. To put it simply, The first step in following through with your goals is to make sure you are setting Smart Goals.
What is a SMART goal?
You are probably wondering exactly what the difference is between a normal goal and a smart one. We use SMART as an acronym here: A SMART goal is one that is: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time specific. If your overall goal for the new year is to lose weight and work out, then you would want to set a smart goal that looks like this: “I will go to the gym 3x a week for an hour each day for the next 3 months.” This goal is relevant to your overall goal, because it helps you get to the gym. It is specific in its time and its frequency – you have a time frame and a frequency defined and on top of that, can measure if you actually go or fail to do so. Goals count as achievable when you can actually make them work; if you work 12 hour shifts six days per week, going to the gym 3 times in a week is not necessarily possible, achievable, or realistic for you.
That’s just one example of how you can set a SMART goal for yourself, but this can be applied in a variety of ways:
- Eating Healthy:
- Traditional goal: I’m going to eat healthier this year.
- SMART Goal: I will eat whole and healthy foods for dinner everyday of the week for the next 2 months
- Making time for self-care
- Traditional goal: I will start taking more time for myself
- SMART goal: Everyday Saturday morning for the next 3 months I will take an hour to journal, mediate, or go to the beach.
- Making time for relationships
- Traditional Goal: We will spend more time together
- SMART Goal: We will eat dinner together every day this year and not allow any distractions from our phones or TV.
- Setting boundaries (at work or in relationships)
- Traditional Goal: I will not pick up work calls on my days off
- SMART Goal: I will put my phone on do not disturb everyday at 6pm
- Learning something new
- Traditional Goal: I want to learn Italian this year
- SMART Goal: I will do 3-5 Italian lessons on Duolingo each day for the next 365 days
These are just some examples of how you can set smart goals for yourself. Take some time to reflect on what you want to achieve this year, and break it down into tangible, measurable steps. It doesn’t have to be big or lofty; it just needs to be clear and defined. Often, that can be the hardest thing to do.If you are having trouble defining your goals, we can sit down and work on it together to help you plan out what you want to accomplish and how to be successful at doing it.
Don’t hesitate to email or give our intake coordinator a call if that’s something you want for yourself, your relationship, or your child this year. Whatever the case may be, we’re here to help.