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Well here we are 10 days into the new year. For those of you who made resolutions, how are they coming along?
As for me, I’m still laying the groundwork for some of my goals this year. Over the years I’ve learned what works best for me is to decide what my goals will be before the new year and then I spend a great deal of January laying the foundation to get my plan in place. Once I have a plan, it’s easier to know how to make it all come together.
As we work on our goals, it’s important we remember to get it right for us, not necessarily right for other people.
Today I want to talk about making S.M.A.R.T. Goals — Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely.
To be specific we need to have a clear idea of exactly what it is we want to achieve. Measuring our progress helps us stay on track and reach our target. When we identify goals most important to us we begin to figure out ways to achieve them. For a goal to be realistic, it must represent an objective we are both willing and able to work toward. A goal is timely when it’s attached to a time frame.
S.M.A.R.T. guidelines can be used for both long and short term goals. Set priorities. Think strategies. Breaking larger goals down into smaller ones can, no doubt, lead to success. Having daily goals, though not too many, can help us get used to implementing daily action and surveying our daily achievements. Once we’ve thought about it and have our plan in place, it’s important we do something toward our goal on a regular basis. One thing is certain — doing nothing will change nothing.
A good formula for success? Thinking + Action = Results. Is it really that simple? Of course not — this is life we’re talking about here. Some things won’t turn out exactly as we expect, some things will just plain go wrong, and some things might even appear disastrous. When these things happen, don’t give up. Do something new, learn from the things that didn’t go well and then try again, doing something differently.
Sometimes we may need to get creative. For example, the language we use when writing our goals down can be very powerful. Use it to motivate and energize yourself to excel.
Regardless what goals you may have set for yourself for this year, be S.M.A.R.T. in your thinking and turn your thoughts into results. Setting S.M.A.R.T. goals allows us to clarify our thoughts, focus our intentions, use our time wisely and increase our chances of achieving what we set out to achieve.
As you set and work toward your goals please remember — the past cannot be changed, opinions don’t define your reality, everyone’s journey is different, things always get better with time, judgements are a confession of character, overthinking leads to sadness, happiness is found within, positive thoughts create positive outcomes, smiles are contagious, kindness is free, you only fail when you quit, and what goes around has a funny way of making it’s way back.
Gloria Wall’s column appears Fridays in the Journal Review. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.