SMARTing for Success


New Year’s resolutions can be a powerful goal setting tool and they offer the possibility for new beginnings. However, often as we progress into the daily routine of the year, we get side-tracked from achieving our goals.

As the owner of a small business and a physiotherapist who works with clients daily to help them achieve their recovery and health goals, I rely on the following advice to setting a path for goal success.

Be realistic

In our enthusiasm many of us set goals that are unrealistic in respect of our current ability, which can lead us to setting ourselves up for failure. It is better to start with smaller, more reasonable goals knowing that you can always recalibrate or refine them once you started achieving success. For example, work towards running a kilometre before running a marathon.

Work on 1-3 goals at a time

It is fine to have several resolutions you’d like to achieve in the year, however if you spread your focus too thin, you’ll become overwhelmed. Identify one to three that you want to tackle first, and that make sense to start with if they feed into other goals, and work towards conquering these first.


As it is quite a common tool, many people have used or heard of applying a SMART Goals approach to goal setting. This is a tried and tested approach to setting and achieving your personal objectives.

  • Specific: Define your goal – who, what, where, when, why, how
  • Measurable: Be precise with how much, how many and what success looks like. Also set incremental targets to measure progress.
  • Achievable: Make sure your goal is reasonable and not too far or too little of a stretch. 
  • Relevant: Does achieving this goal fit in with your longer-term plans and the other goals you’ve set.
  • Timely: Specify the deadline or target date for achieving the incremental steps and the final target

You will need some dedication and hard work to achieve your New Year’s resolutions but SMART planning is the key to set you on a path to success.

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