Make SMART Goals in 2021

As while we remain in the grip of a pandemic, there have been many articles and studies about the impact of COVID-19’s disruption to our way of life and the impact on people’s mental health and substance abuse.

people talking - smart goals - substance abuse treatment

We’ve written about the compounding of holiday depression and COVID-19 just a few months ago.

Making Goals You’re More Likely to Reach

In 2021, many will make resolutions and set goals to improve their mental health or substance use, by making a plan, asking for help, or reaching out to professionals to talk, like Canvas Health.

If you are hoping to start with your own efforts to limit your drinking, connect with friends, or get out and move more, it’s important to set goals that are SMART.

The SMART acronym has been used for almost 40 years and is meant as a way to improve the likelihood you successfully reach your goals by making them:

  • Specific: What do you want to accomplish?
  • Measurable: How will you know when you reach your goal?
  • Achievable: Is this goal something you can do?
  • Relevant: Is this the best goal to accomplish what you want?
  • Time-limited: When will you meet your goal?

All that is to say, pick a goal you can achieve by a certain time that will improve your life. Assign a really clear number to your goal that will prove when you’ve accomplished your mission.

Examples:

  • I will walk 20 minutes each weekday and 30 minutes each weekend day during March.
  • I will record my drinking during March and will not drink more than one beer each weekday and no more than nine beers during the week.

Choose SMART Goals That Will Improve Your Life

These SMART goals say exactly what I want to accomplish (Specific) for mental health or substance abuse. Each have clear numbers that can show whether a person is successful (Measurable). Depending on the person, this level of walking or drinking is possible (Achievable). For these people, these goals will get them active or drinking less (Relevant) a clear period of time, at which point, then can see their success and choose new goals.

The process of setting SMART goals can be challenging for many people. If that’s the case or if you’re concerned as to whether you can achieve and relevant goal, mental health and substance abuse professionals make it their life’s work to help people design goals and achieve them. Professionals at Canvas Health as always available to talk.