As 2018 comes to an end, some of us are evaluating our year and are starting to plan our goals for 2019. For some of us, these goals come in the form of New Year’s Resolutions. Some say “Why bother?” since based on experience, we forget about these resolutions after 3 weeks or so. I guess for most of us, we weren’t able to achieve our 2018 New Year’s Resolutions. However, instead of asking “Why bother?” we should be asking “Why weren’t we able to attain our 2018 New Year’s Resolutions?” and “What can we do to change that?”.

There may be lots of reason why we failed with our 2018 New Year’s Resolutions. It may be because our heart wasn’t just into it or maybe we were just too ambitious.

So… how can we possibly have attainable New Year’s Resolutions? It’s quite simple… we just need SMART goals.


What are SMART goals?

Well, I don’t mean intelligent goals. What I mean is…

S– specific

Your goals for 2019 should be well-defined instead of being too broad. It should be clear to you what really is it that you aim for. When you are playing darts, you aim for a specific target rather than just throwing in whatever direction. That’s what your goals should be as well. Say for instance, I want to have a fitter body. This goal is hard to attain because it’s too broad. How can I say that I’ve done it? Instead, my goal should be to lose ____ kg in 3 months.

M– measurable

It is very important that your goals can be evaluated. There should be a means for you to clearly determine whether it’s a success or not. Again, having a goal of losing a specific amount of weight is a lot better than simply saying that you aim to lose weight. Have an exact amount to aim for. Instead of saying that you want to be more physically active, aim for a specific amount of steps per day. Aim for a specific number of times you go to a gym.

A– achievable

Be realistic. Be ambitious but don’t overdo it. I can have a goal that is “Read 200 books this year”. For some, it can be doable but you should always make goals based on what you can do. In my case, with medical school, two hundred books is too much. With 29 hours of straight duty, really not achievable. Instead, I can set a number that is achievable based on the resources I have.

R– relevant

One of the reasons why some of my goals last 2018 failed is because my heart wasn’t really into it. So, goals should be something you really deem important. It should be relevant to your overall life goal. It should help you towards the version of yourself you’re aiming for.

T– time-bound

Be specific about when exactly want you attain a specific goal. Example: I want to lose 1 kg by the end of January. It is again easier to evaluate success. This will also allow you to attain “smaller goals” that is part of a larger goal. Example: I want to lose 5 kg in total. Instead of simply aiming for that, I will break it down to 1 kg per month. Set a deadline for your smaller goals and it might just make it easier.


So… that’s it! That’s my tips to have a more attainable New Year’s Resolutions for 2019. I hope we will all have a productive and successful 2019! May we all learn from our mistakes and shortcomings this 2018 and become better at whatever endeavor we pursue.

What are your goals this 2019? Comment below! Make them SMART!


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