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Three Steps to Turn Your New Year's Resolutions into Achievable Goals

Wednesday, January 01, 2014 6:00 PM | Anonymous

It's that time again.  A new year.  Time to take stock of where you have been in 2013 and where you are going in 2014.  As a new year begins, many people make resolutions to do something different this year.  Unfortunately, almost 60% of those resolutions are broken within a few weeks.  While New Year's Resolutions set the intention for change, they aren't enough. 

A New Year's Resolution is a nice first step.  It is a statement of your intention to change.  Often it declares the end result you'd like to have.  Regretfully, the declaration itself usually isn't strong enough to make the change happen.  What is needed is a GOAL. 

A goal is different than a resolution, because implicit in the goal are steps to allow you to reach it.  A goal requires you to take action.  Without action, it is merely a WISH.  For example, you might wish to lose weight, get out of debt, or even spend more time with your horses, but without a plan and some action, the thought itself isn't enough to make it happen.          

The beginning of a new year can be a perfect time to set new goals for the upcoming months.  I usually suggest that people set goals that can be achieved in a few months–with six months being the longest.  I find that anything longer than that makes it hard to keep your momentum going.  If you have something really big and long-term that you want to achieve--creating a new equine-based business, or writing a book, for instance, set interim goals along the way.  You'll need to be able to keep your excitement toward your goal going.

The first step in goal-setting is figuring out what you want.  That may sound obvious, but you'd be surprised how many people focus instead on what they DON'T WANT.  For example, you may not want to be in debt, you may not want to be overweight, you may not want to be unhealthy, or you may not want to be so stressed.  All of these are goals about what you DON'T WANT.  But what DO you want?  The clearer you can be about this, the better.

The second step is to state your goal as a S.M.A.R.T. goal.  A S.M.A.R.T. goal involves meeting the conditions represented by the letters in the word, SMART. 

Your goal should be Specific.  The S in S.M.A.R.T. stands for Specific.  The more specific you are about your goal, the better you'll be able to zero in on exactly what you want.  For example, if your goal is to have more money, you'll need to figure out exactly how much more.  If you just set your goal at having "more," will you be happy if you just earn one dollar more?  Pick a specific dollar amount you'd like to have.  By the same token, if you want to create a successful business, figure out what that really means.  How much money will you want/need to net?  Figure out what you want to achieve in order to be successful.  Be specific about it. 

The M stands for Measurable.   Be sure to figure out how to measure your success.  Make your goal Measurable.  This allows you to know when you have reached it.  If your goal is to lose weight, how much weight do you want to lose?  Without knowing this, you won't know whether you have succeeded in reaching the goal or not.  If you are starting an equine-based business, how many clients will you have?  How much money will you earn (after expenses)?    

The A in S.M.A.R.T. stands for As If Now.  When you choose your goal, state it as if it is happening now.  For instance, "I'm putting aside 10% of my income every month into savings," or "I eat four servings of fruits and vegetables every day," or "I have scheduled five new corporate workshops."  By stating your goal as if it is already achieved, you create it as a reality in your mind.  It has already happened.  It isn't something you are postponing for "someday" in the future.  Unconsciously, you hurry to make it happen. 

You goal needs to be Realistic.  That's the R in S.M.A.R.T.  This is a bit subjective, but your goal needs to be something that really is achievable.  For example, if I set a goal to earn a million dollars by the end of the week, that's probably not very realistic.   If I set a goal to lose 20 pounds by the day after tomorrow, it can't be done in a healthy way.  Those goals aren't realistic.  Pick something that is realistic for you, and a deadline that is realistic as well.

That brings us to the T in S.M.A.R.T.  The T stands for Timed.  Goals need to have a deadline.  When you set a goal, you need to set a deadline for its achievement.  Otherwise, there's no impetus for reaching it, no urgency.  The deadline keeps it from being just a wish for "someday."  When you set a deadline for your goal, you set yourself on a course to begin to work on it, and build in some motivation to keep working towards it.

The third step in the goal-setting process is to write down your S.M.A.R.T. goal.  By writing it down, it really becomes imbedded in your mind as something you will accomplish.  

Following these three simple steps in your goal-setting turns your New Year's Resolutions into achievable goals.  Make 2014 count!

P.S.  If the idea of setting goals or doing strategic planning for you business is a bit overwhelming, you may want to sign up for BD4, the E3A Business Development course that takes you through a planning and implementation process.  The next one is scheduled to begin on January 23rd.  Look on the Upcoming Schedule page for more information.

Linda Pucci, Ph.D. is a personal and business coach with more than 35 years experience helping people overcome obstacles and achieve their dreams.  She is a founding member of the Equine Experiential Education Association (E3A), a Master Trainer, and currently serves as President of the Board of Directors.  For more information, go to http://www.InnerResourceCenter.com or email her at Linda@InnerResourceCenter.com

It's that time again.  A new year.  Time to take stock of where you have been in 2013 and where you are going in 2014.  As a new year begins, many people make resolutions to do something different this year.  Unfortunately, almost 60% of those resolutions are broken within a few weeks.  While New Year's Resolutions set the intention for change, they aren't enough. 

It's that time again.  A new year.  Time to take stock of where you have been in 2013 and where you are going in 2014.  As a new year begins, many people make resolutions to do something different this year.  Unfortunately, almost 60% of those resolutions are broken within a few weeks.  While New Year's Resolutions set the intention for change, they aren't enough. 

A New Year's Resolution is a nice first step.  It is a statement of your intention to change.  Often it declares the end result you'd like to have.  Regretfully, the declaration itself usually isn't strong enough to make the change happen.  What is needed is a GOAL. 

A goal is different than a resolution, because implicit in the goal are steps to allow you to reach it.  A goal requires you to take action.  Without action, it is merely a WISH.  For example, you might wish to lose weight, get out of debt, or even spend more time with your horses, but without a plan and some action, the thought itself isn't enough to make it happen.          

The beginning of a new year can be a perfect time to set new goals for the upcoming months.  I usually suggest that people set goals that can be achieved in a few months–with six months being the longest.  I find that anything longer than that makes it hard to keep your momentum going.  If you have something really big and long-term that you want to achieve--creating a new equine-based business, or writing a book, for instance, set interim goals along the way.  You'll need to be able to keep your excitement toward your goal going.

The first step in goal-setting is figuring out what you want.  That may sound obvious, but you'd be surprised how many people focus instead on what they DON'T WANT.  For example, you may not want to be in debt, you may not want to be overweight, you may not want to be unhealthy, or you may not want to be so stressed.  All of these are goals about what you DON'T WANT.  But what DO you want?  The clearer you can be about this, the better.

The second step is to state your goal as a S.M.A.R.T. goal.  A S.M.A.R.T. goal involves meeting the conditions represented by the letters in the word, SMART. 

Your goal should be Specific.  The S in S.M.A.R.T. stands for Specific.  The more specific you are about your goal, the better you'll be able to zero in on exactly what you want.  For example, if your goal is to have more money, you'll need to figure out exactly how much more.  If you just set your goal at having "more," will you be happy if you just earn one dollar more?  Pick a specific dollar amount you'd like to have.  By the same token, if you want to create a successful business, figure out what that really means.  How much money will you want/need to net?  Figure out what you want to achieve in order to be successful.  Be specific about it. 

The M stands for Measurable.   Be sure to figure out how to measure your success.  Make your goal Measurable.  This allows you to know when you have reached it.  If your goal is to lose weight, how much weight do you want to lose?  Without knowing this, you won't know whether you have succeeded in reaching the goal or not.  If you are starting an equine-based business, how many clients will you have?  How much money will you earn (after expenses)?    

The A in S.M.A.R.T. stands for As If Now.  When you choose your goal, state it as if it is happening now.  For instance, "I'm putting aside 10% of my income every month into savings," or "I eat four servings of fruits and vegetables every day," or "I have scheduled five new corporate workshops."  By stating your goal as if it is already achieved, you create it as a reality in your mind.  It has already happened.  It isn't something you are postponing for "someday" in the future.  Unconsciously, you hurry to make it happen. 

You goal needs to be Realistic.  That's the R in S.M.A.R.T.  This is a bit subjective, but your goal needs to be something that really is achievable.  For example, if I set a goal to earn a million dollars by the end of the week, that's probably not very realistic.   If I set a goal to lose 20 pounds by the day after tomorrow, it can't be done in a healthy way.  Those goals aren't realistic.  Pick something that is realistic for you, and a deadline that is realistic as well.

That brings us to the T in S.M.A.R.T.  The T stands for Timed.  Goals need to have a deadline.  When you set a goal, you need to set a deadline for its achievement.  Otherwise, there's no impetus for reaching it, no urgency.  The deadline keeps it from being just a wish for "someday."  When you set a deadline for your goal, you set yourself on a course to begin to work on it, and build in some motivation to keep working towards it.

The third step in the goal-setting process is to write down your S.M.A.R.T. goal.  By writing it down, it really becomes imbedded in your mind as something you will accomplish.  

Following these three simple steps in your goal-setting turns your New Year's Resolutions into achievable goals.  Make 2014 count!

What is YOUR GOAL for 2014?  

Add your comment below and share it.  Going "public" with your goals can help you hold yourself accountable.

P.S.  If the idea of setting goals or doing strategic planning for you business is a bit overwhelming, you may want to sign up for BD4, the E3A Business Development course that takes you through a planning and implementation process.  The next one is scheduled to begin on January 23rd.  Look on the Upcoming Schedule page for more information.

Linda Pucci, Ph.D. is a personal and business coach with more than 35 years experience helping people overcome obstacles and achieve their dreams.  She is a founding member of the Equine Experiential Education Association (E3A), a Master Trainer, and currently serves as President of the Board of Directors.  For more information, go to http://www.InnerResourceCenter.com or email her at Linda@InnerResourceCenter.com

Comments

  • Monday, January 27, 2014 5:58 PM | Anonymous
    I prefer goals to resolutions - the perceptions are much different. My new goal for 2014 is to be a contributing member of the Consumers Credit Union Board of Directors.
    Link  •  Reply
  • Monday, February 24, 2014 6:00 PM | Ginny Telego (Administrator)
    I agree with Kim about preferring goals over resolutions. Resolutions seem too easy to let go. For me, goals make me feel more motivated to get to somewhere specific. I set very specific goals for my business this year. To keep me on track, I've shared them with other people who I know will hold me accountable to those goals. So far, it's going well and for every step forward towards my goals, I'm encouraged to keep going.
    Link  •  Reply

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