Every year I set awesome goals for my new year’s resolutions, and every year I’m awful at following through with them. And then at the end of the year I’m in the same place that I was a year ago when I first thought about setting the goals. This cycle is killing me!!
And in my rant about how I’m awful at following through with my awesome goals, I remembered a little thing I learned in my undergrad marketing education about how to set goals and actually achieve them – I know some of you already know what I’m talking about, and are probably groaning thinking about all of the hypothetical companies you gave exceptional advice to by helping them achieve their goals with this ground breaking technique! But for those of you that didn’t have this (or a similar acronym) pounded into your brain for 4 years, SMART goals are:
Specific – instead of saying, “I want to do better in my classes”, you could say, “I want to finish the year with no grade below a B”.
Measurable – a great goal could be, “I want to be more altruistic this year” but without having anything to measure, how do you know you’ve succeeded? Instead, your goal could be, “I want to find one organization to volunteer at once per week”.
Attainable – becoming more altruistic is wonderful. Obviously, but does your schedule REALLY allow you time to volunteer once a week? Making sure your goals are attainable is key; otherwise you’re setting yourself up to fail.
Relevant – make sure your goal is relevant to everything else you have going on, and the other goals you’re setting, otherwise you’ll likely end up having to give up one of your goals. For example, last year one of my goals was to land a career in marketing, and another goal was to travel a lot – wellllll I couldn’t realistically travel a lot while also trying to interview and keep an entry level job. They typically like you to be able to work 5 days a week fairly consistently. SO I had to give up the goal of traveling a lot, but was able to land a pretty awesome job! So while cooking your way through Italy is a wonderful goal, making pounds and pounds of pasta probably won’t help you lose weight or get toned. Choose wisely.
Timely – unless you give yourself a date to be done by, you’ll keep pushing the deadline back until the goal dissolves altogether (trust). And THAT is how you end up at the end of 2013 reviewing your list of things realizing that most of your goals are still up in the air… ouch!
Personally, I think we need to add another “A” to this list for Accountability! By telling your friends about your goals and asking for encouragement, you’ll have more people expecting you to accomplish them, and you will be even more motivated – they might even want to join in!
I’m going to post my goals here, and give an update every month and how they’re going. Post yours here too or email them to me at Lauren.YFB@gmail.com to get added to a motivational email list, and at the end of 2013 we can all get excited about the fact that we did something awesome!
So, here are mine:
- Learn a new language (either French or Italian) by the end of the year – does anyone know if Rosetta Stone works?? Hopefully yes, otherwise this goal will be edited.
- Actually train for the Bolder Boulder 10K and beat last year’s time of an hour and 35 minutes. Even if it means skipping the slip n slides along the way.
- Make a real dinner (mac n cheese doesn’t count) at least once a week.
- Stop making excuses and go to the gym at least 4 days per week!
- Find a join a bible study.
- Make a DIY (probably from Pinterest, let’s be real) at least once a month! If anyone out there would like to join in this monthly craft day, you are obviously welcome.
- Climb a 14er this summer (mountain peeps, get at me!)
I have other goals, but they’re all pretty lofty and I’m not sure how to break them down yet – for example, I want to buy a house (eventually…) and have practically zero savings. Or at least not nearly enough to even make a dent in a down payment. But I figure if I want to buy a house in 5 years I should probably start figuring out how to make it happen, right?! So my goal would be to save for a house. But I have no idea what that looks like. So goal #8 can be: Figure out how to save for a house, and other big person purchases.
To kick start this fantastic year of awesome goals, my first DIY will be to write out all of these goals and hang them on my wall as a reminder! So let’s add a “P” to the list for Publish… SMARTAP goals.
So, before you poor the bubbly and toast to a new year, make sure you sit down and create a list of goals you want to achieve, then find friends who can encourage you along the way! Together, we can make 2013 absolutely fabulous.