It is this time of the year again. One year ends, a new one starts. What do people do? Write down their New Year’s Resolutions. I don’t do that. I do my goals instead of resolutions.
Frankly, I don’t even like the sound of the very word ‘resolution’. It sounds like limitations. Now think about those common resolutions. Quit smoking, stop eating fast food, spend less time online etc. Very often it is about NOT doing something rather than doing. Negative, not to say very seldom fulfilled.
Goals are different. They are certain things you DO want to do or achieve. Goals guide us and help us make our life more meaningful. Yes, there are times when you just don’t feel like being guided by your goals and just want to go with the flow. It happens, but I’ve realized that for most time I am more productive (and happier, too!) when I have my goals set.
Now, when talking about setting up your goals, it is important to do it in a proper way. I follow the simple SMART principle. I am sure many of you are quite familiar with it but it is worth reminding.
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Attainable
R – Relevant
T – Time-Bound
For example, instead of just saying ‘I will lose some weight’ say ‘Shed off 10 lb by May 1’. Just an example. I need to lose (I am not telling you how many) pounds too.
I’ve been doing my goals for the last few years. Normally, I break my goals into 2 major sections: Personal and Professional. Then I break them down into sub-sections. Under Personal I have Health, Sport, Educations, Self-Development, Travel, Culture etc. Under Professional I list all my projects and set goals for each one.
Once your New Year’s goals are set, it is important to constantly review them and write down your monthly, weekly and daily goals and objectives. It does help. Of course, there will be changes and adjustments, it is normal, but having your clear, realistic and measurable goals always on hand does make a difference.
Goals are positive, productive and encouraging. Resolutions are not. Goals help you move forward and do new things. Resolutions are about stopping doing old things. No wonder resolutions are seldom fulfilled.
Wishing you all to set and achieve all your goals in 2014.
Happy New Year!