“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” – Arthur Ashe
It’s January 8th – only eight days into the new year and some of us are already struggling with those new year’s resolutions. Don’t worry, you are not alone. In fact, in just 3 weeks most people give up on their new year’s resolutions, waiting 11 months to try it again. Statistically only 8% of people actually stick to their resolutions throughout the year.
Why does this happen?
- Life gets busy and we forget
- We have unrealistic expectations
- We get derailed by failure
How can we make 2018 different? Say NO to resolutions! Haha, just joking. Rocket and I don’t set New Year’s resolutions, but rather goals to work on throughout the year. We set big goals to track and refocus on when life gets busy. Each quarter, we break the big goals into smaller ones that we can accomplish and hold each other accountable to on a weekly basis. We use the idea of S.M.A.R.T. goals to set our yearly “resolutions.”
Setting S.M.A.R.T. goals establishes a structure to your resolutions, creating attainable milestones to help you reach your objective. S.M.A.R.T. stands for Specific, Measurable, Relevant, and Timely. I will walk you through setting a S.M.A.R.T. goal with one of my “resolutions” this year: be a better friend!
BE SPECIFIC: We all have big goals. Specifically defining your goal will increase your chances of attaining it. Specificity will change a goal from “I want to be in shape” to “I want to run a 10 minute mile”
- What do you want to achieve? This year I want to do a better job of catching up with friends and family back home.
- Where? I’m in Dubai and they are scattered around the United States.
- How? Hopefully through phone and video calls.
- When? In the morning at least twice a week – Mondays or Thursdays
- With whom? Numerous friends and extended family members
- What are the limitations? Time zone differences: 8-12 hour time difference and busy schedules
- Why do you want to reach this goal? Are there alternatives to your method to reach your goal? I want to reach this goal so that I can maintain good relationships with the people that I care about. If I can’t call as often, I would like to communicate by email.
MEASURABLE: Break your goal down into a measurable targets. If you want to get in shape, set routine checkpoints to keep you accountable like reducing your mile time by 10 seconds per month. For me, I want to connect with each one of my friends at least one a month.
ATTAINABLE: Be realistic with yourself in the number of goals you set and your targets. It’s better to have 3 important goals that you achieve than 10 that you don’t. Also, if you fail to hit specific targets, don’t give up. “Just keep swimming,” as Dory would say (Finding Nemo).
RELEVANT: Is this goal something you actually want to achieve? Is it important enough for you to continue throughout the year, and will achieving the goal (i.e. will losing weight) help you with your underlying objectives (i.e. being healthy)?
TIMELY: Create realistic and flexible deadlines to hold yourself accountable. It’s better to postpone a deadline than quit the goal.
Lastly, don’t wait until the new year to set goals! Each day offers a new beginning to accomplish your dreams!
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