The new year will be here before we know it. Did you stay true to your new year’s resolutions from 2017? Did you help anyone else achieve their goals? If you have any truly awe-inspiring, please share in the comments below or tweet @LiveBetterMK.
Story Time: Last year, we – Mary Kay and Lindsey – made resolutions without even being part of the same team yet, and coincidentally helped each other’s Growth Plans (more on Growth Plans later!) take root.
Mary Kay was looking to expand her real estate business by hiring an administrative assistant, and Lindsey was looking for a career worth having. Now we are working together and looking towards a bright, bold future.
Whether you achieved all your 2017 goals or not, here’s part one of our tips to help you jump-start 2018!
1. Make S.M.A.R.T. Goals
This one is HUGE. Nearly everything else that follows starts with how you set goals. Don’t skip this one!
We’re all regularly told that we should be making and achieving goals throughout our lives, but unless you’ve spent time with coaches or advisers chances are you’ve never been taught how to make goals. Without knowing how to make goals, it’s easy to get overwhelmed, disappointed, or even completely miss what it is you truly want to achieve.
That’s where S.M.A.R.T. goals help.
Originally SMART goals were intended to be used for businesses, but they have proven invaluable in all aspects of life.
Below on the left is the more common SMART model used today for setting personal goals. On the right is the original SMART model made for business management.
Specific – target a specific area for improvement.
Measurable – quantify or at least suggest an indicator of progress.
Achievable – attainable and realistic
Relevant – worthwhile and fits your long term plans.
Timely – specify when the result(s) can be achieved.
“Ideally speaking, each corporate, department, and section objective should be:
- Specific – target a specific area for improvement.
- Measurable – quantify or at least suggest an indicator of progress.
- Assignable – specify who will do it.
- Realistic – state what results can realistically be achieved, given available resources.
- Time-related – specify when the result(s) can be achieved.
Notice that these criteria don’t say that all objectives must be quantified on all levels of management. In certain situations it is not realistic to attempt quantification, particularly in staff middle-management positions. Practicing managers and corporations can lose the benefit of a more abstract objective in order to gain quantification. It is the combination of the objective and its action plan that is really important. Therefore serious management should focus on these twins and not just the objective.”
– George T. Doran
“There’s a S.M.A.R.T. way to write management’s goals and objectives”
So how do you create a Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely goal?
First, keep it as short and concise as possible to stay specific. Any unnecessary words muddy the waters. A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself “Can someone else understand what I am trying to achieve?”
Second, not every goal is going to be easy to measure – but being able to measure a goal makes it that much easier to see how much progress you’re making! Think about it like this: what is One Thing you can do every day, week, or month to get closer to your goal?
Third, making an achievable goal can be the toughest part for many people. This is a common hang-up with new years resolutions. You must think about what is realistic for you. Not for someone else, you.
Don’t compare your insides, to someone else’s outsides.
If you can find who originally said this, please let us know!
Fourth, make sure the goal is relevant to you and your future plans. Sure, you could make the goals you feel you should achieve, but if you don’t truly want to achieve those goals you’re bound to stumble along the way. And as far as personal goals go, don’t let someone else make them for you. What someone else thinks a might be a good goal for you could be completely irrelevant to your needs and dreams.
Note: There is one particular type of goal you should have assistance in making – weight, health, and fitness goals. As always, speak to your doctor before making any major changes to your health routine. Take this opportunity towards the end of the year, before you deductible begins again, to ask your doctor what SMART goals you can be making to improve your personal health.
Finally, set a reasonable time to have achieved your goal. Some goals will be quick and easy, others will take months, or even years. If setting long-term goals feels intimidating, consider how you could break that down into smaller goals. For example, the good folks over at the Habitica.Wikia suggest the goal of “Run a 5k by the end of the year” could be broken down by adding regularly scheduled status/progress checks such as “Check training progress with coach” once a week.
Take some time in the next couple of days to figure out what SMART goals you can set for yourself in 2018. In a few days, part two will go over a variety of systems you can use to keep track of your goals.
Stay tuned for more!