New Year Goals with a Strategy
By Olivia Sievert
The start of a new year provides the opportunity to approach goals that may have fallen through the cracks last year. All of us are familiar with the saying “new year, new me,” are probably equally familiar with the disappointment we feel mid-February when our ambitious resolutions have gone out the window. Don’t worry, you are not alone in this. A 2016 Huffington Post study reports that only eight percent of people actually stick with their New Year’s resolutions.
Though that statistic is disheartening, don’t let it stop you from setting big goals for 2018. A study by Entrepreneur found that people who employ a specific goal-setting strategy achieve 76 percent of their goals. While many strategies are out there, the SMART strategy is used frequently in business and personal goal-setting. The strategy was first published by George T. Doran, a former Director of Corporate Planning for Washington Water Power Company, in 1981 and was primarily focused on goal-setting for management professionals. It has since expanded and is used in goal-setting across the board. A SMART goal can be broken down like this:
- Specific. Both personal and professional goals should be well-defined. If you understand exactly what you are working towards, it’s easier to create a plan to reach the end goal.
- Measurable. Make goals quantifiable. Numbers are an important way to track progress towards a goal and know when you have accomplished it.
- Attainable. Often the most difficult part of goal setting. Driven professionals are tempted to set lofty goals that will help propel them to the next step in their career. Thinking ahead is an important skill, but it’s also an easy way to get defeated. Setting smaller and shorter term goals can help you gradually get to where you want to be.
- Relevant. When setting goals, it’s important to take into account external conditions that may affect the chance of achieving your goals. Make sure your goals are related to what is happening in your life and the world as a whole.
- Time-Based. Set goals with a clear deadline. As the deadline draws near, it’s easy to assess your progress and figure out what needs to be adjusted. Many companies recommend setting goals each quarter in order to have a clear beginning and end point.
In 2018, resolve to employ a new strategy to meet your goals. Maybe it’s the SMART method, or maybe you have another approach. Whatever your goals and whatever your preferred strategy, treat your own goals like you do a client’s goals and you will be one step ahead!