SMART Goals for a New Year

Many people choose to create New Year resolutions. Thinking about goals for the New Year can be a fun family activity, especially when choosing wellness goals. Consider talking to your child about a SMART goal this year.

S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Attainable
R – Realistic
T – Time-bound

healthy goals ptarmigan connections, wasilla alaska
healthy goals ptarmigan connections, wasilla alaska

Specific versus vague language will help to actually pinpoint a goal. A vague goal might be “eat better,” while a specific goal would be “eat 5 servings of fruit and veggies per day.”

Measurable means that you can actually keep track of progress. Did you reach your goal to “eat better?” How do you know? It is easy to actually count up the number of servings of fruit and veggies, though.

Attainable goals are very rewarding. Failing in a goal makes it more difficult to believe in yourself. So, encourage children to think small. Instead of one BIG goal for the year, what is a smaller wellness goal that can be accomplished this week, or this month? If you are not eating any fruit, perhaps start with a goal of eating “one serving of fruit or veggies at each meal.”

Realistic goals again help to support growth. Help your child choose a goal that you know is possible for your family.

Time-bound goals have an end date or a time for reflection. Ask your child, when will we check back in? Tomorrow? Next week? Next month?

See below for a link that shares how SMART goals can be used in school.


- written by Erika L. Stannard, PsyD