A new year brings a time to step back and reflect. We think about what we can change or what we want to do better in our lives.
But making — and keeping — those New Year’s resolutions can be challenging. Dr. Sheri Pruitt, a clinical psychologist at Kaiser Permanente, has a great way to reach those goals throughout the year.
It’s called the SMART method. And it doesn’t just apply to your resolutions — Dr. Pruitt says that following these five guidelines will help you achieve success for nearly anything in your life.
- SET achievable and measureable goals. It’s important to be realistic about what you can fit into your current lifestyle.
- MONITOR your progress. Keep a journal of how you’re doing toward your goal — even through the bad days.
- ARRANGE your life for success. Make sure you are creating the conditions to set yourself up to succeed, like making time on your calendar or getting the necessary equipment and making it easily accessible.
- RECRUIT help because no one achieves their goals alone. Share your resolutions with a trusted friend or family member (or more than one) so they can check in with you and help cheer you on.
TREAT yourself. Celebrate your positive steps in the right direction. When a behavior is rewarded, it’s more likely to be done — and repeated!
Need ideas for healthy New Year’s resolutions? Check out this list at Health Magazine.