S.M.A.R.T. Resolutions

In order to actually realize our New Year’s Resolutions, we have to commit to them. In the past, I’ve written some down, put them on the fridge then promptly forgot about them, even though they were right there in front of me each time I reached inside for ice cream. The key to success is commitment, according to Goethe:

Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back– the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.

So now, I have the last line of this paragraph stuck to my refrigerator. It hasn’t quite transformed me yet, but it does look nice sitting there front and center on the door.

The truth is, I think personal resolutions need to be as well thought out as business goals. In successful businesses that I’ve seen, goals are identified by management at the upper level and then shared with every level of staff below, including entry level employees. Buy-in takes place at each level with people answering the question, “What can I do to help make this happen while still achieving my own goals?” One business approach is to put company goals in writing using the S.M.A.R.T. method.

If you’d like to commit to achieving your personal resolutions this year, try doing the same and be S.M.A.R.T.

S is for Specific. Speak in terms that are sharp and vivid. Be absolutely certain that you’ve nailed the concept. “Become more healthy by losing weight.” is not specific. “Lose 20 lbs. by 4/1/12, walk at least 30 min each day, and cut out red meat.” Now that is specific!

M is for Measurable. Write in terms that identify how to measure your success. In the above resolution, there is a deadline, a time requirement for exercise, and a cholesterol buster identified. That’s measurable.

A is for Attainable. There is little chance that I could lose 90 lbs. in 3 months. But 20 lbs. is possible. So it’s a good goal.

R is for Relevant. Ask yourself if it matters in the big scheme of things. Are you rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic here? If it isn’t relevant, why do it?

T is for Timely. Is this goal being written and will it be completed at the appropriate time? To write a goal about making homemade Christmas gifts on December 23 is not very timely. But making that same goal on Jan 1 for the following holiday makes sense and is timely.

This year, I’m committed to some S.M.A.R.T. resolutions, and I encourage you to do the same. Whether you do or just set out to live better in the months ahead, blessings and enjoy a great new year.

Sharan Nunn is an employment counselor with Workforce Solutions – Pasadena. With a background as a human resources generalist, she has experience in both health care and hospitality industries, where outstanding customer service equals success. Sharan is a native of East Texas, and has called Houston home long enough to remember when the Astrodome was the new “Eighth Wonder of the World.”

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