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All too often, New Year’s resolutions fade by February. The year begins with great intentions, but the intended good habits fail to take hold.

That doesn’t have to be the case in 2023. Taking care to set resolutions the right way can give them sticking power.

When creating a resolution, use the SMART method to make it concise and detailed. This adds structure and takes it from an abstract wish to goal with a concrete plan to follow.

To help your employees set effective goals for 2023, train them to use the SMART method. This type of goal is:

Specific: A goal that is too broad leads to frustration. Narrow down your goal and describe it in simple terms.

Measurable: Make the goal something you can track (like 30 minutes of walking or one cup of vegetables daily) so you can measure your progress.

Attainable: Don’t set yourself up for failure by aiming for something unrealistic. Make your goal one you can reach. Once you hit this achievable goal, you can set another one that takes you a bit farther.

Relevant: Have the goal revolve around something that matters to you. Don’t do something because someone else wants you to do it. Make your goal meaningful.

Time-bound: Add a timeframe to your goal. When the time period ends, assess your progress. Set a new goal or adjust your current one and try again.

SMART resolution examples

These resolutions use the SMART method to target a specific action in a measurable way:

  • I will walk for 15 minutes each day, from 5 p.m. to 5:15 p.m., for two weeks.
  • I will do 10 push-ups each morning while the coffee is brewing.
  • I will try a new meatless recipe every Saturday night during January.
  • For the next three days, I will not check my work email after 6 p.m.
  • I will get more steps into my day by parking in the back row of the parking lot on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday this month.
  • I will go to bed by 10 p.m. on five of seven days for the next two weeks.
  • I will pack an apple or another fruit in my lunch each day.

After a resolution has been achieved, another goal can be set to keep the momentum going throughout the year.

Key to remember: Using the SMART method will help employees set resolutions they can keep.