Make SMART Goals and Achieve Your New Year's Resolutions

2012 was the first time that I made official, written-down New Year's resolutions, and it was the first year that I actually kept those resolutions. I am starting 2013 over thirty pounds lighter than I was last year at this time. I edited two full-length novel manuscripts and I wrote a first draft of another novel during November's NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).

This year, I'm going to try the same tactic with my New Year's resolutions, by making SMART goals. I first read about making SMART goals on the Writer Unboxed blog. The SMART acronym stands for:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Actionable
  • Realistic
  • Time-bound

Instead of making overreaching goals for the entire year, I'm going to make small goals for each month in a few specific areas:

  • Eating
  • Exercise
  • Writing
  • Reading

So, here are my goals for the month of January.

  • Eating: I will track my food intake, honestly and accurately, every day for the entire month. I had been doing this, but got off track (ha!) during the holidays. I have to remember that no one will see my tracker but me, so who do I think I'm fooling by not writing down every piece of Fannie May candy I put in my mouth?
  • Exercise: I will spend 20 minutes on the treadmill each day, plus do ten minutes of strength training before parking my ass on the couch to watch TV at night. I've been really slacking in the exercise department, so I'll consider just fitting working out into my routine a major accomplishment this month, regardless of intensity.
  • Writing: I will finish revising Messy Manuscript #3 by January 31. I'm already about a quarter of the way in, so bonus.
  • Reading: I will reread George RR Martin's Storm of Swords, and at least one other book by January 31. Don't judge. Storm of Swords is really long, y'all.

What are your SMART goals?

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