Breaking down your goals will help you come up with a clear action plan, and essentially provides you with a set of instructions on how to get from where you are to where you want to go. In order for a resolution to REALLY work, it needs to meet the following requirements:

– It must be based on what YOU want, not what someone else is telling you to change about yourself.
– It must be specific and detailed enough for you to execute.
– You must have a realistic plan for achieving that goal. In other words, when will you know that you’ve accomplished what you set out to do?

One tried and true tactic used throughout the business world and countless other circumstances is the S.M.A.R.T. goal, which is an acronym for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.

Here are some examples:

“I will eat healthier” becomes “I will incorporate a vegetable for at least two meals a day for the next month.”

“I will save more money” becomes “I will set aside $50 each month for the next year.”

Still having trouble specifying your goals? Try zooming out!

Here’s what I mean.

Usually, our goals come down to feeling less or more of a specific emotion, like happiness, fulfillment, strength, or confidence. Consider what emotion you would like to achieve by fulfilling your goal, and think about what changes you can make to help you feel more of the good emotions, and less of the bad.

Start by answering this: What’s something that you turn to to help you feel better when you’re feeling especially negative?