Setting SMART goals for success in 2021

Setting SMART goals for success in 2021

07 January 2021

When we welcome the New Year, many of us will set goals with good intentions. Read our latest article on setting SMART goals for 2021 and sticking to them.

Research completed by Strava found that January 12 is the day when motivation for a New Year’s resolution is most likely to slip away from you. So, what can you do to plan for helpful changes across 2021, rather than just a one-week wonder? For starters, setting appropriate goals will greatly increase your chances of success. 

When planning for success and setting new goals, the SMART acronym can help you succeed throughout 2021. You may have come across SMART goals before, but this is a particularly good time to touch base with each of these areas of goal setting. In relation to your current goals or goals you are setting, reflect on the following:


Is your goal specific? Setting goals that are vague, or too broad, make it difficult to track and measure whether you’ve been successful. Getting fit is an example of what is sometimes referred to as a ‘global goal. You might want to break it up into more specific, measurable goals, such as attending three gym sessions a week, reducing your blood pressure, or starting a team sport.


How will you know if you have reached your goals? It is often a good idea to make a tangible goal, because it requires you to measure the degree of success or achievement. Having an objective measure can ensure that you stay motivated and committed to your goal. For example, think about the number of times you might do an activity or an increase or decrease in health measures.


Have you set goals that are achievable with what you currently have? Do you need to achieve some smaller goals or resource yourself before you look to achieve this goal? Breaking larger goals into smaller goals first, can help maintain motivation and confidence. Running a marathon is a common goal – however, if you are time poor, are carrying significant injuries or have left yourself short of time, achieving this goal may require some additional preparation to make it realistic. 


Is this goal important to you? If your goal does not relate to things you value in life, you are likely to lose motivation very quickly. We get caught up in setting goals we think we should achieve, rather than what is important to us. Finding meaning in your goals can help to remind you what lasting impacts you wish to experience when you reach them. For example, you may value being a hands-on parent – this can help you to to set goals such as starting a hobby with your kids, allocating play time or time for conversation with them.


Have you set a timeframe? Open ended goals are likely to be demotivating, so setting a timeframe with a clear start and end date can be helpful to maintain motivation and direction. Reflect on whether your timeframe is realistic, have you allowed yourself enough time or have you given yourself too long to work towards the goal? 

Find out more If any content in this article resonates with you and you’d like to speak with someone at Mates4Mates about seeking support, contact us to find out more about our services. All Mates4Mates services are available for current and ex-serving Australian Defence Force members with physical injuries or mental health issues, and their families.
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