January is coming to an end and we can’t forget to talk about goals! Most of us have a goal/resolution in mind as we ring in the New Year. Then as the weeks go by, we tend to not be consistent or even forget them all together and then beat ourselves up for not working hard enough to reach that said goal. In our Positive Psychology course, we learned that in order for our goals to be successful, we must set S.M.A.R.T. goals and that’s exactly what our team did!

What are S.M.A.R.T. goals, you ask? Let us break it down for you, so your goals can be more successful!

Specific- state exactly what you want to accomplish.

Measurable- use smaller, mini goals to measure progress.

 Achievable- make your goals reasonable.

Realistic- set a goal that is relevant to your life.

Timely- give yourself time, but set a deadline.

Research shows that goals that are not challenging and specific (low goals) are actually worse than setting a goal at all. Low goals are vague and subjective. They can decrease self-esteem and self-efficacy because it can foster the belief, “I set goals and don’t accomplish them”. (Locke, 2002)

The myth of setting high goals is that high goals are perceived to be more difficult, requiring more time and energy. However, in a study (Weise and Freund 2005), they found that those who set high goals did not experience burnout or a decrease in feeling alert, active or attentive. They concluded that although high goals require more energy and effort to pursue, the subjective benefits largely outweigh the costs.

 To keep each of us accountable, we hung our goals up in our designated area to help better support each other. We encourage you and your family at home to set S.M.A.R.T. goals. Hang them up for you to see every day and find yourself an accountability partner!

“By recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be. Put your future in good hands- your own.” –Mark Victor Hansen 

Be sure to come back next week as we focus on the topics of Kindness/Empathy and Communication during the month of February!

*Research from gozen.com

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