Well, it’s that time of year again where everyone thinks they need to make a New Year’s Resolution. Because they set them last year and that worked out so well that certainly, it should be done again. The sad reality is that most people don’t even remember what it was they said much less what got accomplished. But at least we set those “Resolutions”, right?
I hear a lot about a “resolution” around New Year because that is the tradition, everyone does it. But any other time it’s just referred to as a “Goal”, or desired action pursued with a serious effort to accomplish. The problem is that usually New Year’s Resolutions are very temporary because they are merely a strong wish with no serious effort, if any effort at all. Most Resolutions are just suggestions in a passing conversation that occur about January 1st due to the traditions passed down over time. And it goes way back to Babylonians and even the Romans with promises to their Gods’ at the beginning of each year.
But, as opposed to “vague resolutions” made in moments of tradition, a Goal is a better way to Resolve issues you wish to address. A Goal is a measured desire that should contain a time frame and relevant accomplishment. Some call this a “SMART Goal” that has meaning, measurement and a time limit. In fact the word SMART actually stands for a Specific, Measured, Attainable, Realistic and Timely action.
Specific should mean just that. Don’t make your Goal a vague statement like “I need more money” or “I’m gonna pay off debt”. While that sounds great, what does it Really mean. More money, is that a dollar, five hundred dollars, $32,427.67 or what? If you need more money then set your goal to reach a specific amount and graduate that to a specific time frame. I need $300 dollars by this month, I want that to grow to an Extra $1,000 per month by April, I want to replace my income by this time next year! Those are Goals! and they are specific to what you want and when. Doesn’t matter what your goal is just make sure it is Very Specific and Defined. How are you going to know when you got there if it is not a Specific Destination?
Measured means it is deliberate or calculated. You have to know where you are starting, relative to your desired out come, and what is the increase in value as you move forward. Again, how will you know you accomplished your goal if you don’t know where you are now and at what amount will you be happy. This is another problem with resolutions and their vague wishes, You have to be Specific in what you want and Measure your progress along the way.
Attainable? Really? what a concept! If you set a Goal that is completely unrealistic then you just set yourself up for more trouble. You need to have small goals and large goals. This includes goals that you can accomplish in the short term, medium term and certainly long term. You need the short term goals like, what are you going to do today, this week, this month that are going to make a difference. Of course it has to be measured, or how will you know you got there or accomplished this goal? But make your goals something you are actually capable of achieving with success. Now don’t be afraid to set Big Goals, the ones that make you sweat, just make sure it is realistic. Big Goals can be a Great motivator toward your long term desire and should be well thought out and strategic. Don’t just say, I want to be a millionaire by years end, the chances of that actually happening are pretty slim. But, you could set a goal to create an extra income of $2,000 per month by November 30th of this year. That is a specific, measurable, and attainable goal that would be a marked success when accomplished.
The R is quoted as “realistic” and some say “relevant”. I say both are a good idea. Your goals should be realistic and attainable but they also need to be relevant to your long term plan. If you are going to the trouble of setting a goal make sure that it moves you closer to your desired end result. All the small goals lead up to the medium goals that all lead toward your long term plan. If you plan is to make more money and quit your job then your goals should move you in that direction. If your goal is to loose weight then the goals you set should be relevant to the process of loosing the specific, measured, attainable amount of weight relative to your goal. Just make sure you are not setting goals that have nothing to do with your long term plan. Decide what your main objective is and layout a plan of Action that will take you there.
And then there is the “Time” factor. You see, this is where goals are most different than resolutions. Most resolutions are just spoken wishes that would be great if it really happened. But a Goal is a “written” game plan that has all the steps to get to your end result and each step has a time limit. A goal says I am going to accomplish this part of my plan by this date and that part of the plan by that date. Placing a time factor on each of your desired actions will create a sense of urgency and let you know if you are making the progress needed to get there. Again, be very specific with your goal and this means you know the time frame that it will take to complete. Now this does not mean that if you miss your time by a small factor that the goal is a failure because none of us can predict the future. Things do happen, life gets in the way sometimes but that should never change the desire of the goal. When things come up, just re-evaluate your goal and set a new time frame but Always keep moving forward on your goals.
So this year don’t fall in the trap of vague resolutions set some Goals. Be Specific about your goal, make sure you can Measure your results, set goals that are realistically attainable in the short term and long and make sure they are Relevant to the cause and set a Time frame to make the accomplishment. For goals to get any traction at all in your daily habits they have to be written out and reviewed. Make sure you write your goals down, keep them handy and go over them frequently to make sure you are still on track. Goals are a Great way to move your life to a higher experience and actually accomplish what it is that you most desire. A desire is just a wish until you make a plan and write it down on paper.
This is the year that you can make Great progress on your resolutions by turning them into written Goals. We are putting much thought into our goals and they are certainly written down so that we can constantly review, re-adjust and keep moving forward to what we want to accomplish this year. We hope that you are doing the same by setting “SMART Goals” for 2015.
We invite you to get to know who we are and see what we have planned for the new year. This is the year that big things are happening and we would love to help you achieve your goals and enhance your life experience. You can find out more about us by visiting our personal website at DeanAndDena.com. Let’s make this year a Fantastic New Year to change and improve as many lives a possible.
Can’t wait to meet you all! Please let us know what we can do to help move your journey forward.
Dean and Dena