By Monique Baez
How well do you function in chaos? A better question, would you be more efficient if you were well-organized and S.M.A.R.T about your goals?
January is National Get Organized Month. Established in 2005, but if we think about it, getting organized is a natural continuation of setting New Year’s resolutions, and what better time than January to set ourselves up for success?
Tip #1: Hold on to a memento that reminds you of the energy of New Year’s Day. How motivated do you feel at 12:00 AM on January 1st? Can you carry that energy throughout the year to motivate you?
Let’s refer to new year’s resolutions as goals, since they are, and since these are the goals that people focus on at the beginning of the year. New Year’s resolutions are no different than any other goal, except you have set up a timeframe for completion –and that’s a step in the right direction toward setting S.M.A.R.T. goals.
Before we discuss S.M.A.R.T goals, let’s take a look at the New Year’s resolution statistics put out each year by Statistic Brain Research Institute (http://www.statisticbrain.com/new-years-resolution-statistics/).
If you feel your resolutions won’t be successful because of the type of goals you’re setting, you may be in good company. Take a look at the Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions for 2017:
Seems like we all want to look better, feel better, and do better for ourselves and the world-at-large, but why don’t we?
Let’s look a little deeper:
58% of us usually or infrequently set New Year’s resolutions. 42.4% of us never succeed or fail on our resolution each year. As we get older, we are less likely to achieve our goals. And, probably no surprise to you, the more time passes, the less likely we are to maintain our resolutions. Yet, people who make resolutions are ten times more likely to achieve their goals over people who don’t.
Tip #2: No matter how excited and determined you are about your goals, being in a pessimistic environment that is not supportive to the lifestyle you are trying to lead will hinder your success. Before all others, your key goal should be to get organized.
So, what can we do to get organized? Turn your New Year’s Resolutions into S.M.A.R.T. goals.
Tip #3: Let’s take the month of January to create a plan for the rest of the year. Ask yourself: Am I organized? Which areas of my life are most chaotic? Do I have the tools and support to get organized? Do I have an organization plan?
S.M.A.R.T. goals are organized goals that are: Specific Measurable Achievable Relevant and Timely. These are all important for achievement.
Specific: Be sure that your goal is well-defined. The objective should be clear to yourself and anyone involved. An example of a general goal is, “lose weight.” A specific goal is, “join a gym and lose 30 lbs by December.” When you set your goal, you should be able to identify who is involved, what the goal is, location, time-frame, and the benefits of accomplishing your goal (Who? What? Where? When? Why?).
Measurable: Figure out whether your goal is obtainable and decide on benchmarks for success. How can you measure progress? Will you know if you’ve successfully met your goal? How will you know you’ve met your goal?
Achievable: Is this goal within reach and do you have the skills and tools to achieve it? If not, can you get the tools and skills? Are you motivated to complete this goal? Once you have the skills, is the amount of effort worth the achievement?
Relevant: Is this goal in line with my life goals, and overall objective? Consider why you chose to set this particular goal at this time. Why is this goal important to you, now?
Time-bound: Have you set an appropriate time-frame to complete your goal? Set a comfortable pace for yourself. Not enough time will lead to failure; too much time can cause procrastination. What’s the deadline, and is it realistic?
Tip #4: Make your goals S.M.A.R.T.E.R. Remember to Evaluate and Re-do. Check in with yourself every quarter, or at the halfway point and evaluate your current circumstances. Have your personal goals changed? Have you decided to change direction? You should not complete a goal just to feel accomplished—you won’t. It is wise to recognize when goals evolve, or your path has changed and you need to adjust your goals accordingly.
Below is an example goal worksheeet with my personal goal to lose weight. I’ve included a blank copy for you, as well. Print out as many as you need and create a sheet for each of your goals and place them in your Achievement folder. And remember to open the folder before the end of the year.
I’m always interested to know how folks go about personal development and self-improvement. Do you set goals? Have you been successful? Do you plan on setting goals in 2017?
I hope so.
Be well, stay safe, and drink water!
Monique Baez works in Customer Service at Goodwill Industries of Greater NY & Northern NJ. She is a free thinker and creative writer trained in Poetry Therapy & Transformative Writing. She believes in the written word to assist in healing, growth, and personal development. Her hobbies include writing/journaling, knitting, karaoke, and bringing love and hope into hopeless places. Follow her @G00dmoni on Twitter for GoodwillNYNJ news, events, and announcements.
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