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Would you like to make 2019 the best, most productive, most fulfilling, and most amazing year of your life?
I bet that about ninety-nine percent of you answered yes. But I’ll also bet that more than fifty percent of you added a caveat to your response – a Yes, but…Maybe more than one.
Yes, but I don’t have enough money.
Yes, but I don’t have enough time.
Yes, but I’m too old.
Yes, but I never finish what I start.
Yes, but I’ve said that before, year after year, and it never, ever, ever happens.
Believe me, I understand.
Resolutions vs. Goals
When a new year rolls around, it’s natural to think about the things we’d like to do or see happen during that year. But, especially for those of us living in the years beyond fifty, it’s also natural to start to remember all of new years that have passed, how we started out with the best of intentions, a laundry list of resolutions, only to come to get to the end of the year and find we hadn’t stuck with any of them.
I’ve lived long enough to realize that for most people, and certainly for me, new year’s resolutions simply don’t work. Studies have shown that only 8% of people who make resolutions actually keep them. And you know what Albert Einstein said, right? The definition of insanity is doing the same thing, over and over, and expecting to get a different result.
That’s why I don’t make new year’s resolutions anymore. Having done so year after year, only to see them fall by the wayside in a few days, weeks, or months, I am wise enough to know that they simply don’t work. Expecting those resolutions to suddenly produce results isn’t just an exercise in futility, it’s a little bit crazy.
But, does that mean that wanting to make improvements in your life is also a crazy, fruitless exercise? Not at all!
Play it SMART This Year
If we’ve been making resolutions year after year and not seeing results, it’s time to change your approach. This year, instead of making resolutions, try making goals.
Better yet, try making SMART goals.
At the end of every year, I spend a significant amount of time sorting through my hopes, dreams, and desires to figure out what I would most like to accomplish in the coming year. This first step is really important. And more importantly, as I have mentioned in a previous post about productivity, writing my goals down gives me more conviction and courage in achieving those goals.
There are always more things I’d like to do, improvements I’d like to make, or good habits I’d like to establish (along with a few bad ones I’d like to break!) than I can realistically accomplish within a single year. Narrowing down the list to those that really matter to me helps me focus on the areas matter and increases my chances of success.
Once I’ve figured out what goals I want to accomplish, I put some serious thought into how to make that happen. Doing that requires taking the next step by making my goals SMART.
What is a SMART Goal?
What constitutes a SMART goal? It’s a goal that is…
For those of you that love a good acronym, I’m sure this one will make your acronym-loving hearts go pitter pat! Plus, it makes it easy to remember.
Creating a SMART goals will help you establish a framework for success and can serve as a huge first step in mapping out a plan that will take you from where you are now, to where you’d like to be a year from now.
If you’ve ever worked in a corporate environment, chances are good that you’ve heard about the SMART goal system and used it for project planning purposes.
Goal Setting Tips: Where to Start
My husband and I spent New Year’s Eve with our youngest son. As a young man with a new wife and in the early stages of his career, he naturally has a huge list of goals for the coming year – so many that it’s hard to know what to tackle first or how he’ll ever be able to accomplish them! When I mentioned SMART goals to him, he immediately understood what I was talking about. He uses SMART goals on work projects all the time, but hadn’t considered applying SMART goals to his personal goals.
As I told him, SMART goals are just as effective on a personal level as they are on a project level. And they’re probably a lot more fun because you’ll be making progress on the goals that are most important to you.
The bottom line of this post is that making SMART goals is exponentially more effective than making resolutions. I can vouch for that personally. They’re also a lot more fun!
So, how can you start making your own SMART goals?
My free Goal Setting Workbook, updated for 2019 with more examples, information, and tips will help you create SMART goals that will get your year off to a great start!
Whatever it is you’d like to accomplish in 2019, the first step on the road to making it happen might begin by requesting the 2019 Goal Setting Worksheet to create your own set of SMART goals. Sign up below.
I’ve already made my SMART goals for 2019. A few of the SMART goals I’ve created include action plans to finish TWO big writing projects, run another triathlon (but in a faster time!), take a special trip with a family member, and read several classic books.
Enough about me! Let’s talk about you!
Where would you like to see yourself one year from now?
Would you like to lose weight? Find a better job? Improve your marriage? Grow in your faith? Read more books? Downsize your home? Take a special trip?
All of these are totally legitimate – and totally doable – goals for the coming year. Just remember you need to outline actionable steps to achieve success. Otherwise it will be 2020 and we will still be having the same conversation.
Don’t just endeavor to lose weight. Find a new workout plan. Meet with a nutritionist or stick with a new healthy diet. Buy a new pair of kicks to motivate you. Track your progress. Hold yourself accountable. And better yet, bring along a girlfriend who can hold you accountable as well.
My point is, set yourself up for success. Achieving goals isn’t for sissies. It’s hard work. But with the right plan and SMART goals, you can do this! I know you can!
Happy New Year, my fierce friend. I can’t wait to see what we’re going to accomplish this year!