So it is that time of the year again.
It’s the 31st of December and while we are still struggling with the idea of having a few more heavy meals and extra snacks between today and tomorrow, after an even heavier Christmas, we are also starting to panic about the new resolutions and what should we be achieving for 2018.
However, most of us don’t seem to take this process too serious because we have been there… the last minute scribbles on that pretty notebook we got from Christmas or a few months ago on your birthday and you just think how cool it will be to draft a few ideas about who you want to become and achieve in the New Year. But then it happens again… you know, by the 5th of January, the notebook is long gone and you can’t even recall what was those resolutions again, apart from the typical weight loss and save more money… everything else seems to drift away and quite blurry.
Now, as much as I appreciate resolutions… I am more of a “goals” type of person… But SMART goals. And no, I am not talking about clever goals.
Back in the 80s, George T. Doran wrote a paper on the importance of objectives and the difficulty of setting them. It said there was a S.M.A.R.T. way to write goals and objectives.
Ideally speaking, each Goal should be:
- SPECIFIC: A goal needs to really focus in on the specifics. Think of the who, what, when, where, and why.
- MEASURABLE: Establish criteria for which you will measure your progress on your goal. Often the measurable part includes numbers – think, How much? It also answers, How will I evaluate if this goal has been met?
- ACTION-ORIENTED: How are you going to reach your goal? This is where you put your action or steps toward reaching the goal in place.
- REALISTIC: This is where you need to be true to yourself on the work you’re motivated to and willing to put in. You’re much more likely to achieve your goal if it’s realistic.
- TIMELY: Set an attainable time frame to meet your goal. When are you going to start acting toward your goal? What specific date do you want to reach your goal by?
I will never forget when in 2010 I found out about SMART goals and this is how I rewrote my biggest goal.
This was what my Goal used to look like:
“I want to Travel the World for a couple of years.”
To a SMART Goal that looked like:
“I want to travel for at least a minimum of 18 months, but potentially more (budget depending) around Asia, Oceania, South America and perhaps Africa.
I will be traveling solo and will need a budget of roughly 30 GBP ($40 USD) per day to pay for accommodation + food: 2 years = 730 days * 30 = 22,000 GBP, on top of another 8,000 for flights, insurance + miscellaneous = 30k
I would like to start my trip when I am 30, therefore sometime around 2013. That gives me roughly 3 years to save 30k (already have money saved but ideally will need to save an extra 800 per month for the next 3 years, but better if I manage to save more.
Is it realistic? Yes if I work harder in order to get a promotion and get extra commission, plus take extra side jobs such Babysitting, and save by cooking more and buy less stuff. Be strict with spending.
I will start the trip in India and try to spend the most time in Asia as is cheaper and more exciting.
Plan to start the trip whenever starts to get cold in Europe in 2013, September or perhaps October and go for as long as I can.”
See the difference?
And guess what happened in October 2013? Yes…
In fact, I was so organized and focused that by 2012 I have already achieved my budget but decided to work more and harder in order to save more to travel longer and end up traveling an extra year.
So I would like to challenge you to drop the resolutions and write your SMART goals. I promise it will be easier to focus and achieve them.
Have a wonderful 2018 and wish all your dreams and goals come true <3