Happy 2017! It is only appropriate that I talk about new year resolutions! I love the beginning of the year because this is a perfect time to reflect, to let go of the old and begin with the new. It is a good time to set goals and start fresh. Of course we can do this anytime of the year, but as a culture, we tend to associate a new year with a new start and a chance to pursue some big things in our lives.
Some of the most popular resolutions are:
- Getting healthier,
- Losing weight,
- Earning more income,
- Starting a new business or career, and
- Going back to school
- Travel more
What do you aspire to achieve? What big changes do you hope to make this year? What do you hope to accomplish? One thing about resolutions….we make them….and then we break them. It may be fair to say, that out of one hundred people who made resolutions, five of them will actually keep them. That means 95% of the people who made resolutions will not achieve their goals this year, and only 5% will. Why do people break their resolutions? Primarily because of excuses, such as:
- “It is too hard!”
- “I do not have time!”
- “I do not have the money!”
When life gets in the way, we tend to get frustrated and quickly give up. Sometimes we quit because we do not truly believe in our dreams or at some level believe we do not deserve to do and have the things we desire. There are many factors that can discourage us for pursuing what we truly want in our lives. The difference between the 95% that fail and the 5% that succeed is that those who succeed, have the ability to take action despite all the obstacles that get in their way.
Do you want to be a part of that 5%? If the answer is YES, keep reading, because I am about to share with you a strategy that will help you make your new years resolutions a reality this year!
Now that you are excited and ready to attack your goals head on, let’s get to work! I want you to look back on December 31, 2017 and say, “You know what, I did that”. It feels good when you achieve your goals. Setting goals and working towards them is part of the game of life, and t’s up to you to make it a game worth playing.
It’s time to get your notebook and a pen and write down your primary goal, one that most excites you. It does not matter how old or new it is, just write it down if it is something you want to accomplish or have even tried to accomplish several times. The next thing you do is write down the letters S-M-A-R-T vertically. This is the SMART system. I love the system and I use it a lot when monitoring my goals in both my personal and professional life.
S – Specific. Make your goal specific. For example, instead of stating “I want to lose weight”, include in your statement, how much weight you want to lose and the date you want lose it by. A goal that is not specific lacks clarity. If you are not clear with what you want, it will be very difficult to achieve it.
M – Measurable. Does your goal have a beginning, a middle and an end? It is important to have a system to track your progress. In the weight loss example, you can track your progress by the number of pounds you have lost in a specific amount of time.
A – Attainable. Make your goal realistic, but challenging. For example, a five pound weight loss goal is attainable, but it is not challenging. On the other hand, you do not want your goal or the timing to achieve the goal to be so impossible or unreasonable that you will become discouraged.
R – Relevant. Your goal has to resonate you. Does it excite you? Does it reflect with your purpose in life? For example, if your purpose is to be physically fit, setting a weight loss goal will help you achieve that. If your purpose is to be adventurous, your goal to travel to a new country this year will support that.
T – Time-based. Plan to achieve your goal by a specific month, day and year.
Let me share an example with one of my goals I have made this year.
“As a demonstration of being a contributor to my community, I will have impacted the lives of one thousand women with transformational webinars and supportive content by December 31st 2017.”
Is my statement Specific? Yes, I just did not just say I wanted to contribute to my community. I stated what I wanted to do and how I wanted to do it. Is it Measurable? Yes, I am going to impact the lives of one thousand African-American women. Is it Attainable? Yes, and it will be a fun challenge. Is it Relevant? Yes, it is relevant to my purpose to be an inspiration and contributor to my community. And finally, is it Time-based? Yes, because I have stated that by December 31, 2017 I will have achieved my goal.
Now, it is your turn. Create your statement using the S-M-A-R-T system. Read it three times per day. Take action every day that will bring you closer to your goal. Monitor and adjust your action steps when necessary, be consistent, and more importantly, make 2017 a great year!