Chicago Home and Lifestyles – New year-New Goals

Most people start out January guns blazing, ready to lose 50 pounds or declutter their entire house! Personally, I’m not a big person for New Year’s resolutions, because in my experience the resolutions begin to fade by February 1. Instead of resolutions, what we need is a plan. 

For years many successful people have used a formula to really pin down these goals and set out a plan for them to achieve them. These are called S.M.A.R.T. goals, an acronym that gives you 5 elements for creating a plan for success.

S stands for specific. The goal is defined specifically by what will be accomplished and the steps needed to achieve that goal. What will you need to do first? Next? How will you feel when you achieve this goal? How will it affect your life?

Mstands for measurable. A weight loss analogy fits here. Don’t just say: my goal is to lose weight. Think specifics. I will lose 10 pounds by March 31. You may say I will make at least 10 meaningful connections with people in my sphere per week. I will declutter 1 room in my house every 2 weeks. Create a meaningful way to track your progress. 

Astands for achievable. Lofty goals are all well and good, but if they are too out of reach it can be a fast track to quitting! Do you have the resources to achieve this goal? You may need to learn a new skill or ask for help from team members to be successful. Start out small. You can always readjust down the road.

Rstands for relevant. Every action you take should move you closer to your goal. If your goal is to reduce expenses in your department, you will need to look at your current expenses as opposed to your annual budget. You can then highlight where you may be overspending. This direct-action step will point you in the right direction. 

T stands for timely. You will need to set up a timeline. Some goals are short term, and some are long term. Some may even be a combination of both. Without a deadline you can’t see if you are on track. Try to be realistic and give yourself plenty of time to adjust. That’s where small steps are best to encourage you to keep going!

So, explore S.M.A.R.T. goals online. There are many free templates and other tools to help you to develop a goal plan and set yourself up for success in this new year.  

Kathleen Weaver-Zech and Dean’s Team Chicago