Suhani SharmaAh, sitting cozily on the couch, snacking on some potato chips and binge-watching your favorite show definitely outweighs sweating and gasping for air at the gym, right? Well, for me it does, and I sense that most people would agree with me. I mean, exercise, I haven’t said that word since January 1, when I made my new year’s resolutions (spoiler alert: I never accomplished them). In my defense, Netflix released some real good stuff. But, I mean, that was so last year. Okay, I should now get to the point rather than just babbling about exercise and Netflix.

Now, most of us make resolutions for the New Year, and some common ones are to exercise more, eat less junk food, save money, get a new job or a part time job, and so on. But, let’s get real, we never really continue with our resolutions after the first week of the year is over. There has to be some way of achieving our resolutions, right? Well, yes, there is! Try following the ‘SMART’ goal technique. Each letter stands for a word that helps you reach closer to that goal. So, here’s what they stand for.

S – Specific – This means your goal or goals need to be extremely specific. A resolution might sound like this, “I want to go running more”. Well, what days of the week do you want to go? What time are you planning to do it? Do you want to run around the block or go to the gym and run on a treadmill? How much distance do you want to cover every day? Now, this might sound like a lot, but making your goal clear will help you clarify what exactly it is that you’re working towards.

M – Measurable – You need to make sure that your goal is measurable. This means that once your resolution is reached, you can see some difference in yourself, like something has improved. Are you fitter, more social, happier?

A – Attainable – This means your goal needs to be realistic and achievable. Suppose you didn’t go running one day last year, and your goal is to go running for an hour every single day this year. Now, that isn’t very realistic; a smart goal would be to go running twice a week, and when you’re used to that routine, you can increase the days you go, and so on.

R – Relevant and rewarding – This means that you really want to achieve that goal; you’re driven towards it, and you’re motivated. If it’s hard for you to stay motivated sometimes, then try rewarding yourself. Maybe after a day of running, you can go out to eat or watch your favorite movie, basically do something you enjoy.

T – Trackable – Make sure you’re tracking your goal. Suppose your goal was to write a journal for at least 15 minutes daily. Well, after a week, are you seeing some improvement in your writing skills or your handwriting? You need to be able to tack your goal to make sure that you’re making progress; if not, then that probably means you need to change something in your goal.

Lastly, remember that you don’t just have to make your resolutions in the new year, you can make them anytime of the year! If you started today, then the next New Year for your resolution would be the 366th day from today! Do you get what I’m saying now? I mean, if you want to get better at, say, sketching, don’t wait for the new year to come; just start now and make it a habit by following one of the tips above or any other tip that works for you. And if you happen to lose sight of your resolutions for 2020, start again now, it’s never too late!

By Suhani Sharma