As we enter a new year, it's common to reflect on personal goals and resolutions. However, to transform these aspirations into reality, a strategic approach is required. This is where S.M.A.R.T. goals come into play. S.M.A.R.T. stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. This framework ensures that our goals are clear, realistic, and trackable, increasing the likelihood of success.
But setting goals is just one part of the equation. To effectively work towards these goals, understanding the stages of change, as set by SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration), is crucial. These stages include:
1. Precontemplation: Recognizing the need for change.
2. Contemplation: Considering the possibility of change.
3. Preparation: Planning for change.
4. Action: Implementing the change.
5. Maintenance: Sustaining the change.
In my role as a life coach, I guide individuals through these stages, helping them align their S.M.A.R.T. goals with each step. For example, in the Precontemplation stage, we identify areas needing improvement. In Contemplation, we weigh the pros and cons of change. Preparation involves setting specific, measurable goals. The Action stage sees the implementation of these goals, and Maintenance focuses on sustaining the change long-term.
The combination of S.M.A.R.T. goals and the stages of change provides a robust framework for personal development. Whether it's improving health, career, or personal relationships, this approach can be tailored to fit various aspects of life.
Let's work together to set meaningful goals and navigate the path of change. With a clear plan and supportive guidance, turning resolutions into reality becomes an achievable journey.
[For further reading on therapists' views on New Year's resolutions, see the Yahoo article](https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/do-therapists-make-new-years-resolutions-heres-what-they-told-us-190032307.html).
Rev. Dr. Christian Frazier
Former Chair of the BIPOC Committee Zero Suicide Alliance
Member National Council of Wellbeing
Former Board Member NAMI Hillsborough
Board Member LifeLine University
Mental Health First Aid Instructor St. Petersburg College
Motivational / KeyNote Speaker
Certified Life Coach
Certified Health & Nutrition Coach
Mindfulness Meditation Instructor