Setting Achievable Goals For the New Year - USAA Community.jpg


In my last post here in Community, I spoke about three things to do now in order to stay on track this new year. I also highlighted the importance of having a new year full of opportunity to take the steps in order to change your life and start fresh. And now that you have some tips and tools to help you stay on track, let’s talk about goal setting.


We are given the chance to set aside any failures of the year left behind and the ability to look ahead to the successes of the future. Do you have any failures that you wish to re-visit?


I have always enjoyed the concept of SMART goals. SMART is an acronym that you can use to guide your goal setting.


SMART goals are:


  • Specific (simple, sensible, significant).
  • Measurable (meaningful, motivating).
  • Achievable (agreed, attainable).
  • Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based).
  • Time bound (time-based, time limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive).


So using the same concept of SMART goals, how will you determine what goals you will set for yourself this year, and how will you ensure to accomplish them?


Thinking about accomplishing a daunting goal is setting you up for failure almost immediately. Before making your list, think about this…


Is your goal fun?


Whether it is weight loss or going back to school, your goal doesn’t have to have an adverse or tiring thought. Accomplish your goal in an environment that makes you happy. If you’re hitting the gym for your weight loss goal, try playing some upbeat music or binge watch your favorite show to help the time pass by. If you’re going back to school, create a relaxing and quiet area just for you at home to study, add some of your favorite candles, make yourself a cup of coffee or tea and make it a space you are excited to sit in.


Do you have goal levels?


Don’t start with the hardest goal at the start of the year. Try setting a timeline and levels to ensure you not only give yourself enough time, but are also keeping the goals realistic. Set your goals according to level…


Easy: the habit that needs to be formed level

Normal: the extra effort level

Difficult: the extreme I can’t believe I did this level


Example: My easy goal this year is to make time for doing something I love. Reading has fallen on the back burner, so I made a realistic goal of reading and finishing one book each month. My difficult goal is to finish my SPHR (senior professional human resources) certification by the end of January, and study to take the state test by June.


Are you honest with yourself?


Sit back and ask yourself this question, what’s stopped me in the past? Did you answer honestly?


The old saying "the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior”, can be applied here. If you have struggled in the past to accomplish certain goals, you have to truly evaluate why. Figure out what isn’t working for you and then do it differently. Are you waking up too early for the gym to only hit the snooze button? Realistically set a goal for what works for you. If you see it isn’t working, make a change.


What are your easy, normal and difficult new year’s goals? Share with us in the comments below! 


Related Posts:

Stay On Track All Year: 3 Things To Do Now

My Resolution Solution

Accomplish Your Goals


About the blogger: Angela Caban is an Army National Guard spouse, published author and branding expert. In 2010, she founded the Homefront United Network, a military spouse and family support blog created to assist spouses who do not live near an installation, but also focusing on bridging the gap between National Guard, Reserve and Active Duty spouses. She has an extensive background in Human Resources and Communications, with her Bachelor’s in Business Administration and a Master’s in Human Resources. Angela resides in the beautiful Garden State of New Jersey with her husband and two children.