Hi everyone! Hope you all enjoyed some time off for the holidays. I took time off with the family and we spent a week in Mexico (will write a report soon on our trip to the Riviera Maya). After we got home, my son, B, got strep throat so I spent the rest of my days off tending to a sick little one. We rang in New Year’s Eve toddler style around 7pm with a Netflix countdown. With the break over and back to reality, time to set some goals.
I don’t believe in resolutions (per Google definition – a firm decision to do or not to do something) and prefer to do goal setting instead. It’s not just a mindset to do (or not to do) something but you have to set real objectives and work towards them. I’ve always done well with annual performance reviews at work and that is goal setting so why not apply it personally?
Goals should be “SMART” – Specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound (timely). There are a couple variances on the mnemonic but the gist is the same.
The SMART goals criteria is discussed a little more on Wikipedia but here is a synopsis of how SMART is defined.
Is your goal clearly identifiable so that you can focus on the goal? For example, if your goal was to be a better person, you need to target on the how in order to make that goal more specific. So, to be a better person, you can focus on behaviour, like healthy eating habits or to be friendlier to others – its how you define what better means to you.
This is where the goal needs to quantifiable versus qualitative. You need to attribute a quantifiable outcome. It doesn’t necessarily need to be numerical but easier if it can be. For example, saving X number of dollars per year or doing 50 push-ups or losing 10 pounds. It can also be the completed act itself, like knitting a completed item or reading a book. This is why it doesn’t have to be numerical but you do need to be able to see progress.
To me, this is the most important criteria. Can you actually do it? While it can be commendable to have a lofty or stretch goal, for goals to be successful, you actually have to have the ability to do it. No point in setting a goal that can’t be achieved. Stretch goals are important too but those bars are intentionally set high. That’s the next level in goal setting. If you meet these goals, then you can strive those more difficult ones. For example, if you have just started running, you make want a 5 or 10K as your first goal race versus jumping to a marathon. A half-marathon might be your stretch goal and with this goal-setting, you can stay motivated and not get discouraged (or hurt!).
Is it the right time to work on this goal? Sometimes it makes sense to work on a goal, while other times, you may want to defer and focus on something else. For example, saving money – you may want to save more/ put more aside per month when you’re younger than when you’re about to retire as you will be at an age where you are making less and taking out more. When I was in school, I didn’t set goals to read for pleasure as I was too busy with required readings! Now that I do have some time, I want to read more in my leisure time.
With these goals being for 2016, it is a no-brainer to have them completed by the end of the calendar year. Some goals can be broken down by month or quarter or semi-annually or some other measurable amount of time. With all that said, make your goal attainable by the end of the year. Your overall goal doesn’t need to be met by the end of 2016 but the measurable portion should be. Again, meeting the goal is motivating and promotes continued success.
Without further adieu, I present to you my 16 goals in 2016.
These goals were set before we left for Mexico and I tried to be as thoughtful as I could about them. My goals are pretty SMART except for the last one as I don’t know exactly what the something new is but I know I (as a family) can achieve it. I will go in more detail in a future post (by the end of this week/ early next) about each one and tell you how relevant each one is.
I will post my meal plan for the week tomorrow.
Until next time, Lisa