As 2010 rolls to a close, it’s time to start thinking about what we want to create in 2011. New Year’s resolutions are a popular way to set goals at this time of year, but the key to achieving them is to have them be powerful and smart (S.M.A.R.T.).
The majority of people who set New Year’s resolutions and goals won’t achieve them. The main reason is that they haven’t set S.M.A.R.T. goals.
What are S.M.A.R.T. goals?
Each letter in S.M.A.R.T. stands for a trait of the goal… if a goal is set powerfully in this manner, the likelyhood of achieving it is much greater than if you set goals that don’t embody these traits.
Here are the traits:
S- Specific -> The more specific you are when you state your goal, the better. You have to know exactly what you want in order to set yourself up to have it. In order to know whether or not you’ve even achieved your goal, it has to be specific! If your goal is vague, it’s much harder to create a roadmap to achieving it, and it’s also much harder to know when you hit it. An example of a specific goal would be “I want to go to Africa for 2 weeks” as opposed to “I want to travel more”.
M- Measurable -> For best results, your goal needs to be measurable. Something finite that can be measured. This is the key piece that must be in place in order for you to know when you’ve definitely reached your goal. For example, a smart goal would be “I want to create a residual income of $10.000/month” as opposed to “I want to make more money”. It will certainly be crystal clear when the monthly check for $10,000 shows up that you’ve achieved your goal. 🙂
A- Attainable -> Your goal needs to be something that is attainable… not some airy fairy pie-in-the-sky dream, but an attainable destination.
R- Realistic -> Your goal needs to be realistic: within the availability of resources, knowledge and time. Again, if this piece is in place, it’s much easier to create a road map to reach it.
T- Timely -> Your goal should have a date attached to it so that you know how much time you have to hit it. It’s important that you pick a date that gives you enough time to reach the goal, but not one that is so far out in the future that it reduces motivation in the present moment. This is a key piece!
Let’s do a couple of examples.
When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, 2 of the most popular categories that people set goals in are 1) Health and 2)Wealth.
A S.M.A.R.T goal in the area of health could be:
I want to lose 20 lbs by April 1st, 2011.
A S.M.A.R.T. goal in the area of wealth could be:
I want to create a residual income of $10,000/month by July 31st, 2011.
These goals both meet all of the criteria for a S.M.A.R.T goal…
However, there’s one more thing that needs to be put in place to increase the likelyhood of meeting these goals: ACTION STEPS.
Once all of the S.M.A.R.T goal traits are in place, it’s much easier to create your road map, your action steps for reaching your goal.
Here are some examples based on one of the S.M.A.R.T. goals we set above.
For the goal: I want to lose 20 lbs by April 1st, 2011, some action steps could be:
1)I will work out for at least 1 hour 4 times/week
2)I will cut sweets out of my diet, and focus on eating lean, lowfat, and low calorie foods.
Then, from here you can get even more specific and break down each of these action steps:
1a) I will run 3 miles on Monday and Wednesday mornings and go to the gym/lift weights on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. I will attend yoga class every other Saturday.
2a) I will eat oatmeal for breakfast, salad w/ lowfat dressing or lemon juice for lunch, and steamed vegetables with a lean protein for dinner. I will plan out my weekly menu on Sundays and buy all of the ingredients I will need for the week so that I can stick to my plan.
I’m sure you get the picture… basically, the point is that creating S.M.A.R.T. goals with very specific action steps is the key to being successful when creating your New Year’s resolutons. Simply stating a goal at the end of the year isn’t quite enough to insure that it will happen. 🙂
Another HUGE piece to help you stay on track is creating some type of accountability for yourself. You can do this either by creating a system to keep yourself in check, or by having someone committed to being your accountability partner… preferrably someone who has a vested interest in seeing you accomplish your goals.
What are some of your S.M.A.R.T goals for 2011? Please leave them in the comments below…you just might inspire someone 🙂 .
Happy New Year and Expect Abundance,
p.s. If you’re committed to creating more income in 2011 and are looking for a road map, I am going to take 4 people under my wing and help them each create a long-term residual income of at least $500/month by the end of March. Contact me if you want to be one of them (or want more information).