Exploring New Year's Resolutions

Exploring New Year’s Resolutions

Suggested Topic for Vestibular Support Groups

Written by VeDA Ambassador Samantha @concussedfullydizzy

Many people celebrate the New Year by setting goals or resolutions. However, for those with vestibular challenges and unpredictable health, this type of activity may bring on feelings of stress, sadness, or even frustration. In today’s support group plan, we will explore the SMARTER goal-setting technique, which gives space for vestibular patients to modify their goals throughout the year. We will also discuss how people feel about setting new year’s resolution goals.

Some of you might have heard about the SMART goal-setting technique. It is used by many business professionals for setting yearly goals, personal trainers for fitness goals, and even some practitioners for helping patients meet health goals. From my lived experience, I felt limited by the SMART goal-setting technique, so when I became a people leader at my organization, I started to look for other options for myself and my team.

That’s when I discovered the SMARTER goal-setting technique. It builds on SMART goals by adding two simple letters at the end. The letters “E” and “R” create space for exploring how well goals are working for us and give us permission to update our goals as needed. Let’s dive into this technique, and then at the end of this material, there are a few questions you can answer with the people in your support group.

SMARTER Goal Setting Technique

“S” — A SPECIFIC goal has a greater chance of being accomplished than a general goal. Can the goal be broken down into smaller steps? Answer the 5 W’s: Who, What, Where, Why, and When?

“M” — A goal should be MEASURABLE. Establish concrete criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment of each goal. How much? How many? How will I know when my goal is complete?

“A” — Goals should be ATTAINABLE. Begin to find ways you can make your goals come true by looking for ways to develop the right attitude, abilities, skills, and financial capacity to reach them.

“R” — To be REALISTIC, a goal must represent an objective that you are both willing and able to work toward. Is the goal you are trying to achieve worthwhile, relevant, and feasible?

“T” — A goal must be TIME-BASED and have a deadline. This will provide the necessary focus and sense of urgency to make it happen. Ask yourself, “When will I be able to complete this goal?”

“E” — Constant EVALUATION of your goals is essential to reaching them, as goals are not set in stone and can change from time to time. Factors such as family dynamics, health changes, or available resources may affect your original goal.

“R” — After evaluation, REVISE the goals that need to change and revisit the smarter goal-setting technique. Also, don’t forget to reward yourself for every milestone (big or small) you have achieved!

Questions to Ponder

  • What words, lines, or phrases stood out to you about the SMARTER goal-setting technique?
  • What do you like or dislike about the technique?
  • What feelings (both physical and emotional) did you notice within yourself as you read through this technique?
  • What did you learn that you did not know before?
  • What would be the advantage of trying SMARTER goal-setting?
    • How could you use it in your everyday life?
    • How could it benefit you?
    • What would be the disadvantages of using it?
  • What are you taking away from this session today?