Make Your Resolutions SMART!

In speech-language pathology, we have the opportunity to write personalized treatment goals for our students and patients. In graduate school, we're also taught to make these goals SMART! I've found that this process is not only helpful for my clients, but for my personal goal setting as well. With 2022 approaching, we all know how difficult maintaining New Year's Resolutions can be--what if we made our resolutions SMART? Let's take a look at this framework and how it can apply to our goals as well:

Specific: This refers to precisely naming what it is you are going to work on. For example, in speech therapy, rather than say "articulation" or "speech sound production," we will want to name the particular sound that we are targeting (i.e. "r," etc.). So, if we are aiming to exercise more in 2022, we'll want to name exactly what it is we're going to work on to make our goal specific, be it pilates, kickboxing, running, going to the gym, or however you like to get moving!

Measurable: How can we document progress towards our goal? In speech therapy, we may want a child to produce their "r" sound with up to 80% accuracy in 3/5 opportunities. So, for our exercise goal, maybe we aim to complete a 30 minute pilates workout 3 times a week.

Achievable: Just like we want to design our speech therapy goals to be attainable for our clients, we want our New Year's Resolutions to be attainable for ourselves!

Realistic: A goal of "100% accuracy in all opportunities" for a client that is just starting speech therapy would be unfair; expecting myself to exercise all day every day would also be unfair! Like our speech goals, we want to ensure that our resolutions are able to progress in a way that is both logical and healthy.

Timely: This sets a deadline for our goal. Our speech client may be aiming to produce that "r" sound within 6 months; we may aim to try pilates for 3 months, and then re-evaluate our goal as necessary. Reworking and revising is often needed throughout the goal setting process!

Will you be setting any SMART resolutions this year? Let us know in the comments below!

-Erika Baldwin, M.S., CCC-SLP