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    How to turn New Year's resolutions into SMART goals

    How to turn New Year's resolutions into SMART goals

    Photo By Airman 1st Class Parker McCauley | Master Sgt. Michael A. Carbajal, the 509th Bomb Wing First Sergeant poses for a...... read more read more



    Story by Airman Parker McCauley 

    509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs

    As Whiteman Air Force Base brings in 2019, the tradition of people making New Year’s resolutions to better themselves continues.

    New Year’s resolutions often have a reputation of failing due to a number of factors such as ineffective goal-setting techniques.

    “I think it’s important for people to think about the fact that 80% of resolutions, they don’t succeed and they don’t succeed fairly quickly, so they need to understand and really think about why,” said Master Sgt. Michael A. Carbajal, the 509th Bomb Wing First Sergeant. “Whether it’s the timeliness figuring out what it takes to actually make things happen, or making it a true priority and understanding why they want it, I think it goes back to that 80% number versus hey good idea this would be cool to do, this is why you really need to do it.”

    Carbajal described the reasons many resolutions fail which are often because they are missing one of the key components of SMART.

    While there are multiple methods to effective goal setting, SMART goals are one of the most popular. The acronym SMART is:
    Specific: The goal and the end results need to be clear and specific.
    Ex. Improving a run score on a PT test.

    Measurable: According to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology website, “Make sure your goal is quantifiable or measurable in some way.”
    Ex. Improving the run time by a minute.

    Attainable: According to the MIT website, “Create stretch, yet attainable goals.”
    Ex. Ensure the minute is still a challenge to reach yet realistic still.

    Realistic: The goal needs to be realistic and actually possible.
    Ex. one minute versus five minutes.

    Time-Bound: According to the MIT website, “What is the the time frame for achieving the goal.”
    Ex. For the next PT test in up to 6-12 months.

    SMART goals make things more manageable and being time bound additionally helps people stick to their goals said Carbajal.

    On the Airman Comprehensive Assessment worksheet in regards to goals for self improvement it states, “Goals should be SMART.”

    “As a first sergeant, I think people that set resolutions need to do it honestly to better themselves and if they’re really investing in themselves as human capital, that’ll make them better peers, supervisors and leaders all around,” said Carbajal.

    Linda Jones, an internal behavioral health consultant with the 509th Medical Group also had advice for goal setting both professionally and personally.

    “Setting good goals needs to be looked at as positive investments in one's life,” said Jones. “They are an investment for today, next week, next month, the next PT test and years to come. If we allow ourselves to look at goals in this light, we can look at them as a positive thing to strive for instead of a must.”

    In line with the SMART acronym Carbajal said specifics are very important and the lack thereof is one of the major reasons people fail. He added that people also need to make sure those goals are truly realistic and require a narrowed down timeline.

    Along with SMART, Carbajal also had additional advice for staying with goals and holding oneself accountable. He recommends people tie in their goals with things they see everyday along with talking about them with others.

    Carbajal said in December that two of his goals are to finish his four year degree and get started with his graduate degree along with beating Tech. Sgt. Carlos Garcia at every bike race.

    For his degree he said it was going well and that he has all his classes forecasted.

    “For the bike riding despite the cooperation of the weather I’m still getting out and riding and training,” said Carbajal.

    He added that he’s been riding an average of 5 miles at a time.

    “We also need to remember to be gracious with ourselves in that we will not be perfect or able to accomplish everything as expected each day as life will get in the way,” said Jones. “With this positive framework in mind, then we begin looking at our large goal which will be several months or years ahead and move backwards.”

    Jones put an emphasis on self reflection and setting important milestones connecting with the time-bound aspect of SMART goal setting.

    “Beginning next week where do you desire to be towards your goals? Next month? 3 Months, a Year? Set small steps to get yourself to these milestones,” Jones added.

    Jones stressed the importance of using organization tools such as a calendar to help track progress towards goals.

    “Don't let yourself get stuck, seek out good counsel from a mentor or adviser,” said Jones. Lastly for a lot of us an accountability partner will help to keep us motivated and encouraged. Make the steps enjoyable and measurable. Have fun and be a success!”



    Date Taken: 01.11.2019
    Date Posted: 01.11.2019 14:18
    Story ID: 306799

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