RWC tutor Beth Nunez lists helpful tips on productivity in the new year.
February is the month of love. It’s also the second month of the new year, and if you’re like me, it is also the month where you start struggling to keep your New Year’s resolutions. There may be no better person to pour love into this month than yourself!
I believe part of that is making goals that you can really stick to throughout the year. That means making your New Year goals S.M.A.R.T. and practicing compassion when you slip up.
You may have heard this acronym before, but S.M.A.R.T. goals stand for being specific, measurable, attainable, realistic/relevant, and time-bound. The University of California, Office of the President, published their Smart Goals: A How to Guide in their 2016-2017 Performance Appraisal Guide for their staff, with many tips on setting smart goals to improve work performance (The University of California, 2016). While they give great advice and examples pertaining to business and work goals, this method can also apply to all aspects of life where you would like to improve your organization and consistency.
So, let’s break this down. Since the S stands for specific, it would be more helpful to say, “I will do push-ups at the gym” instead of saying something like I will work out. Stating that you’ll do push-ups is giving a specific exercise goal. Following the guidelines, we can make this goal even more likely to be achieved. Measurable means that we are giving ourselves some way to track our goals, so maybe that means we’re keeping notes on our phone of how many push-ups we do each week. Attainability means looking at what tools, materials, knowledge, and resources we might need to obtain our goals. Related to that is the relevance/ realistic side of our goal.
Is it aligning with what’s in your heart, mind, and ability at the time? So maybe you won’t be able to do 100 push-ups a week. But you can probably start with 10. Or even five if that is what’s good for YOU. Our last letter is T for time-bound. That is, instead of just saying, “I’m going to work out this year” (which is not as specific as it could be), we can say, “This year, I am going to work out 1 day a week, for 10 minutes”. This gives you a weekly goal and a smaller duration goal, which can help you achieve that bigger set by the end of the week.
At the end of the day, though, one of the most significant ways you can give yourself some love is by being compassionate with yourself when you don’t make your goal happen for the day, the month, or the year. Shoot for consistency and land with compassion.
Below is an example of a smart goal that I have planned for this year.
Take time to create your own!
S- I will work out at least 10 minutes(Duration) for the week.
M- I will do body weight exercises at the gym (Specific), three days a week.
A- I will track the days I work out on my paper calendar in my office (Measurable).
R- I have a gym membership (resource/ access to equipment), I don’t need extra weights or equipment.
T- I am capable of doing some modified bodyweight exercises. I have access to knowledge and other resources online for free as well. Overall, this will help care for my physical health (Relevant, improving physical health and capabilities).