SMART New Year's Resolutions
Tis’ the season of dreams. Making it the perfect time to think about yours and resolving to do something about them. New Year’s Resolutions are a great tool to turn your dreams into reality. "A goal is a dream with a deadline." This one of my favorite quotes and has inspired me to be more S.M.A.R.T. about my hopes and dreams in every aspect of my life.
I’ve learned some great strategies about goal setting during the years I spent climbing the corporate ladder. Each year I spent time setting year end goals and then constantly evaluated my performance against those goals. I found that I became more successful with each year as I got better at setting S.M.A.R.T. goals.
When I launched my company I spent an enormous amount of time writing business plans and goals. It translated into early success. In business I was winning but what about in my personal life? I was happy but still had some lingering goals that didn’t seem to quite come to pass. I started asking myself how can I run million dollar businesses but not take that run around the block? Yes, I too had “working out” on my list year after year.
I finally got serious about me. These business strategies I had been cultivating were more than that. They were life strategies that could help me achieve all of my dreams. They are for the Chief Household Officer a.k.a. Mom, they are for the CEO of self. They are for the woman who is Mom and more. So I started spending the time on me. Writing out my New Year’s Resolutions and checking in with myself throughout the year.
The result? The weight I wanted to lose? Done! That house I wanted to buy? Living in it. That child I wanted to have? She’s busy pulling papers off my desk as we speak. What’s the difference between you and me? That little sheet of paper or those keys on your computer.
The top 10% of wealthy people have committed their goals to writing and have a written action plan for how they're going to achieve them. I have lived and learned that you can be wealthy physically, mentally, spiritually and financially. It can start with getting serious and writing S.M.A.R.T. New Year’s Resolutions or goals.
So what’s wrong with saying “I want to eat healthy this year” or “I want to lose weight”? Nothing. They are the beginning of great broad goals. But to truly achieve them you have to answer a few questions. The biggest one being “how”. The “how” is in setting S.M.A.R.T. goals. Here’s what it means: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely.
You can take that broad goal of “lose weight” and make it S.M.A.R.T. Define specifically how much weight you want to lose and why you want to lose it. How will you measure it? Give yourself scheduled check-ins to monitor progress against the goal. Write down how you will attain the goal.
For example, it may include working out 3 times a week and switching to low calorie beverages. Be realistic. I have a mantra that I set goals that are big enough to be challenging but realistic enough to achieve. So set a realistic amount of weight that you can lose in the time frame.
Be timely. That’s where those deadlines come in. Set a specific time that you are giving yourself to achieve the goal like losing the weight. And here’s the even better news. When you constantly check in with yourself and give yourself hard evaluation dates including a mid year review, you can appraise progress and modify goals based on your success. Finally for me, that T also doubles for “Toot”. Yep, you have to toot your own horn. Take time to compliment yourself and reflect on what you have achieved.