Here at Crestwood Apartment Homes, our goal is to help you live happily! And that goal is especially on our minds as we begin 2021. So we thought we’d talk a little bit about how to set and reach goals as we work together towards a happier life. Here are three goal-setting exercises to help you get started.

Set Your Goals Backwards

Not sure where to start to reach your ultimate goal? Try working backwards! This tip is known as Backward Goal Setting.

As explains, “With Backward Goal Setting, you start with your ultimate end goal (quite similar to traditional goal setting). But instead of thinking about what the first step might be, then the second, third and so on, you start at the end goal and work backward.”

In other words, this technique helps you dream big without getting overwhelmed. Give it a try!

Fill Out a SMART Goals Chart

When you set a goal, you want it to be SMART! SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-based. Here are more details on this goal-setting exercise:

  • Specific: Put a number on it! Instead of setting a goal to run faster, set a goal to reduce your mile time by 30 seconds.
  • Measurable: Make it a goal you can track on paper or on an app. Instead of just saying you want to wake up earlier, make a chart for yourself where you track what time you actually wake up.
  • Attainable: Is this something you will be able to achieve? Hey, there’s no shame in realizing that if you’re a beginning pianist, you probably won’t be performing in Carnegie Hall anytime soon. Look at where you are and decide on a goal that is within reach with your current abilities, the time it will take, and the support you will have.
  • Realistic: Does this goal fit in with your long-term life goals? If you’re in the fourth year of your HR degree and you’re loving the program, it’s probably not realistic for you to start a second major in dance right this moment. Not to say that you can’t, but be honest with yourself about which short-term goals will help you reach your long-term goals and how realistic it is that you will actually stick with them.
  • Time-based: Back to the example of the running goal, aim to reduce your mile time by 30 seconds within a certain amount of time—say, six months. That gives you something tangible to aim for. Just picture it: You, zooming along faster than ever by July 7th. And if you don’t quite make it, no sweat! Use that six-month time limit as an opportunity to reevaluate and see what you can do to better help yourself reach your goal.

Try One of These Goal-Setting Apps

We are so fortunate these days to have so many helpful apps at our fingertips. Here are some great ones for goal setting.

If your goal has to do with money, try one of these:

  • Personal Capital, a money management app
  • Stash, an investment tool
  • Digit, which helps you save money and pay off debt
  • Mint, a budget tracker and planner

Want to improve your fitness? Give one of these apps a try:

  • HealthyWage, which allows you to enter a betting pool with your friends and win cash prizes for reaching your fitness goals
  • MyFitnessPal, which helps you eat healthier
  • MapMyRun, a tool to help you track the data of your runs
  • Charity Miles, which turns your miles into donations to charity

If you’d like to improve your goal setting skills in general, these apps may be helpful:

  • Strides, a SMART goal setting app
  • Habit List, which helps you track your goals in an intuitive way
  • Way of Life, a tool to help you build good habits and break bad ones
  • Habitica, which gamifies your goals (Your avatar earns points and helps you stay accountable.)

Our goal is to help you live happy. What’s your goal? Let’s try these goal-setting techniques together and make our 2021 the best it can be.