- Mental Health
- Substance Use
- Healthy Living
Happy New Year!
Every year, January marks the arrival of two things: longer days and New Year’s Resolutions. While longer days continue to arrive well into June, we are often lucky if our New Year’s Resolutions carry on past the end of January. While the resolutions we make are often full of good intentions, by January’s end it is common for life to “get in the way,” and for us to put our resolutions on the back burner until the following year.
So what can you do to help your family stick with your resolutions for the entire year? One way is to make S.M.A.R.T. resolutions by breaking your larger, long-term resolutions into more manageable, short-term goals or steps. S.M.A.R.T. stands for Specific, Measurable, Action Plan, Realistic, and Time for Review: five key components for successful goals!
Making smaller goals can be easier and less daunting than taking on a large, long-term resolution for the entire year. For example, if my resolution for 2012 is to better manage my stress, I may want to start with a short-term goal that is more concrete and manageable, such as incorporating deep breathing exercises into my morning routine for two weeks. In order to make this a S.M.A.R.T. goal, I could then break it down as follows:
Specific: Incorporate deep breathing exercises into my daily morning routine
Measurable: 1 minute of deep breathing
Action Plan: Before taking a shower in the morning
Realistic (on a scale of 1-10, how confident am I that I can reach my goal):8/10
Time (to review my goal): In two weeks
Working out the specific aspects of my goal, including when and how often it will occur, will make it easier for me to follow though on it. At the end of two weeks, I can review my progress and choose to continue, add to, or make a new goal, depending on my success at reaching my goal. Making small goals throughout the year can help me to achieve my New Year’s Resolution to better manage my stress. To help stay on track of my S.M.A.R.T. goals throughout the year, I can use the Healthy Living Pinwheel in the Healthy Living Toolkit for Families.
To learn more about developing S.M.A.R.T. goals and the Healthy Living Pinwheel Goal Setting Tool, check out the Healthy Living Toolkit for Families: http://keltymentalhealth.ca/toolkits
Wishing you and your family the best in 2012!!