Now that we’ve recognized that generalized New Year’s Resolutions don’t serve us very well, let’s take a look at 5 key actions that can support you in achieving both your personal and professional goals in 2018.
- Make it S.M.A.R.T. – The SMART acronym first appeared in the November 1981 issue of Management Review and at that time stood for Specific, Measurable, Assignable, Realistic, and Time-based. The basic acronym has withstood the test of time and is still used as a method of determining the effectiveness of our goals. Based on the research of The Ken Blanchard Companies® and our new affiliation with them, we’ve found that making a few substitutions for the original components of the acronym makes the goals even smarter.
- Be Sure It’s Motivating: It stands to reason that if a SMART goal is SPECIFIC then it’s likely also Measurable. For example, a SPECIFIC goal about losing weight might be: Lose 15 pounds by June 15, 2018. That is certainly measurable but is the goal MOTIVATING enough for you to make the effort to achieve it. Let’s assume your target date is June 15th because your daughter is getting married on June 15th, your high school reunion is coming up in June or your pre-diabetic and your doctor has indicated that losing 15 pounds is the key to avoiding full blown diabetes. Would any of these reasons be MOTIVATING enough to help you make the necessary life change to achieve this goal?
- Ensure It’s Attainable: Sticking to our weight loss goal: Lose 15 pounds by June 15th, it’s key to be sure it is a goal that is you can achieve. If it’s not within your control, realistic and achievable, then it’s not only unattainable but also demoralizing! In this case, we have a little less than 5 months to achieve the goal and with just a few diet changes and a solid exercise plan, it seems quite doable to lose between 3 and 4 pounds per month.
- Is it Relevant?: If the goal is attainable then we think it will surely be realistic so how about we look at the R and consider it’s RELEVANCE. By definition, if a goal is RELEVANT, then its meaningful to you, aligned with other personal and professional goals, and consistent with other priorities in your life.
- How Will You Know You’re Making Progress? We round out the acronym with T, which we think should stand for TRACKABLE. If a goal is really SPECIFIC then it’s is also time-based (or time-bound as others describe it). We feel it is critical to the attainment of said goal that it is something that can be effectively tracked over time. In our case, because weight loss is an incremental process and one that requires time, we can track our progress and make adjustments as appropriate on a weekly basis with simply weigh ins.