Happy New Year! Early January is such a fun time of year. Everything seems new and possibilities are everywhere. It is that time of year that we all like to look at our lives and make New Year’s Resolutions. We have a desire to change things about our lives, to start something new or quit doing something. We all start out strong with that resolution whether it be to lose weight, quit smoking or save more money. The gym is never busier than the first few months of the year. Something happens though, as we progress further into the new year. The possibilities start to fade away as we continue to face what we were dealing with last year. Basically, life goes on.
So, this year, rather than simply making new year’s resolutions, stop and take a good look at what you want your life to look like. This year, set goals for yourself instead of resolutions. A resolution is simply a desire to do something or not do something, while goals are realistic, actionable and trackable.
When you set your goals, follow the SMART principle.
S – Specific Be specific in what you want to achieve.
M – Measurable Goals become easier if you have a way of measuring them. So, put milestones in place that will measure your progress toward your goal.
A – Actionable Identify the specific action steps you need to take along the way to reach your goal.
R – Realistic Make sure your goals are realistic. Don’t set yourself up for failure by setting an impossible goal.
T – Time-based Set deadlines. Always include a “by when” date.
In addition to making your goals SMART, express your goals in a positive language and write your goals down. This will create a roadmap to success. We are usually working on a number of goals at any one time, so prioritize which goals are most important. This will help you avoid the feeling of being overwhelmed by too many goals and will help you focus on which one is most important to you. Along the way, be sure to monitor your goals. Make sure that the goals you have set are still in alignment with what you really want out of life. If you find yourself working on a goal that is something you no longer desire, then simply revise it. Goal management is a lifelong process, not simply an event. Don’t forget to celebrate when you have achieved one of your goals, you deserve it!