SMART Goals for the New Year

SMART Goals for the New Year

 Happy New Year! No, wait… that’s tomorrow. Oh well, happy New Year’s Eve then! I was thinking today about what the best New Year’s resolutions are: How does one create a New Year’s resolution that can truly be accomplished? By creating SMART goals, you can create resolutions that you will actually achieve in 2016!

SMART Goals and New Year's Resolutions

Okay, first of all, today is a CRAZY day here at camp. You see, each New Year’s we host our staff reunion, but we also host a New Year’s Eve kids party – where we invite local kids to come and do some camp programming, stay up late, and party until the New Year. It’s a BLAST, but definitely makes for an eventful couple of days!

This year, we decided to lower the grades from 6-12 to K-8 – Yikes! It’s going to be a good time, that’s for sure, but it will definitely be a different experience than in years past.

Anyway, you’re probably wondering why I’m telling you this and there’s a couple of reasons. The main reason is the programming involved in planning this New Year’s event – you see, we don’t just let the kids go crazy and run all over the camp. Each minute is planned out and scheduled to create a safe and exciting party experience for our campers.

Now, instead of just including a bunch of games like we normally do, we give the campers something special for New Year’s. At the top of each hour, we celebrate the New Year using traditions from various cultures. For example, we might celebrate like they do in Mexico at 6pm, then Turkey at 7pm, and so on and so forth.

At midnight, we celebrate the USA traditions – which namely consist of confetti, shouting, and creating New Year’s resolutions.


There it is! That’s where the idea came from, but that’s not all. You see, when you’re planning a camp event you also need to plan goals for the campers and for the program itself. To plan these goals, we use a great system that many of you may have heard about before: SMART goals.

Anyway, I was thinking about both of these simultaneously and that’s when it occurred to me that they should both be utilized TOGETHER.

smart goals

Using SMART Goals to make Achievable Resolutions

Without further ado, let me explain to you what a SMART goal is – and for the record, it should be written S.M.A.R.T., but I suppose that’s beside the point.

SMART goals are more attainable than any other type of goal you can create – which makes them perfect for creating the best New Year’s resolutions, right?

Here’s how it works:






While that’s a great overview, it may hold little meaning for you at this moment. Let’s look a little further into what each letter of the SMART goals framework actually means. We will focus on the example of making friends during the explanation.

Specific – In order to create a goal that can actually be accomplished, it must be specific. This means that you know exactly what you want to accomplish.

For example: The goal is “I want to make more friends.”

A Specific goal would be “I want to make new friends at school.”

Replacing “more friends” with “new friends at school” creates a more specific goal. You are no longer saying a broad term of friends, but giving yourself a specific place to start.

Measureable – Next you must make the goal measurable so that you can truly tell if it has been accomplished by the end of the duration.

For example: The goal is “I want to make new friends at school.”

A Measureable goal would be “I want to make fifty new friends at school.”

We are taking away the guessing when it comes to the goal. Instead of thinking of more friends as an arbitrary amount, you have a specific, measureable goal.

Action-Based – Now you must create action within the goal. Rather than desiring something, it is time to make that something happen.

For example: The goal is “I want to make fifty new friends at school.”

An Action-Based goal would be “I will talk to people, listen, and work hard to make fifty new friends at

Instead of simply desiring the outcome, you now have a specific plan on how you will achieve that outcome.

Realistic – In order to not become discouraged when working toward goals, you must ensure that they are actually attainable.

For example: The goals is “I will talk to people, listen, and work hard to make fifty new friends at school.”

A Realistic goal would be “I will talk to people, listen, and work hard to make two new friends at school.”

If you try to make fifty new friends in one year, you will most likely fail because it is unrealistic. Instead, set a goal that is truly attainable so that you don’t lose faith in the outcome.

Time-Based – Finally, goals do not become achievable until they are time-bound – which is to set limits on them.

For example: The goal is “I will talk to people, listen, and work hard to make two new friends at school.”

A Time-based goal would be “I will talk to people, listen, and work hard to make two new friends at school
this year.”

Once all of these are put together, you create a goal that is truly attainable – one in which you will be able to be successful completing. Not only will you feel better about yourself for completing your goals, but you’ll become a more successful person overall.

The question is, why not apply SMART thinking to your best New Year’s resolutions to make them even better?

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to earn money blogging. Instead of saying it like that, I can utilize the SMART goals framework to make it more attainable:

Resolution: I will work hard to implement new money making strategies and earn $500 per month by the end of 2016.

So, tell me: SMART goals or not, what are your New Year’s resolutions for 2016?

Let us know in the comments below!

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