For each of us, the end of the year brings back memories. We tend to dwell on the past, the good, the bad, and the ugly. This way of thinking forces us to examine ourselves and our lives to determine what adjustments we need to make to improve our well-being. Celebrating the New Year marks a new beginning. About 40% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions to attempt to create a long-term habit, which then becomes a goal.
Some of the most frequent New Year’s resolutions are exercising more to be healthy, drinking more water, breaking a bad habit, acquiring a new skill or interest, improving your profession, or changing careers. These are all great concepts, but without a strategy to make them a reality, they will be wishful thinking or hollow promises.
The question you may have is, “How do I plan?” We’ve all set a resolution and told ourselves, “This is what I’m going to do,” but there’s no strategic approach to succeed. I challenge you to make a New Year’s resolution but work to make that resolution a long-term habit by using S.M.A.R.T. goals.
S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym that identifies five components that guide a strategic plan to meet any goal or challenge you wish to achieve. Let’s dive in to define what each letter means in S.M.A.R.T.
S- Specific is the most detailed component. I urge you to invest some time in answering who, what, when, where, why, and how honestly and openly. Doing so will help provide the necessary motivation to accomplish your goal and a great reminder when you feel yourself straying off track.
Who will benefit or be affected by this change? Consider whether this goal only affects you or your loved one as well.
What is the goal?
When will you take steps to achieve your goal?
Why is it essential to meet this goal?
How will you embark on this adventure?
M-MEASURABLE goal setting will allow you to evaluate your progress, identify what needs to be adjusted, and will solidify your progress in a positive direction.
A-ACHIEVABLE means that your result is realistic. Setting a goal should be something you sincerely believe you can achieve.
R-RELEVANT knowing the importance of successfully meeting the goal and how the result could affect your professional and personal life.
T- Time-Based goal setting can be crucial for your success as it will allow you to plan milestones and measure your progress. When reviewing your timeline, be honest with yourself; If you notice you are off track, make a strategy to get back on track. There is a saying that says: “What gets measured is what gets done”!
Making things happen requires planning and being strategic in your intentions. I discourage anyone from making a change with a “wing it” mentality. Using S.M.A.R.T goals will put your plan into action with purpose, give it meaning, and will guide your journey to safeguard your resolution becomes a long-term habit. Statistics say that 80% of people who adopt a New Year’s Resolution will throw in the towel by mid-February. Trust me; you will not be one of the 80% if you implement S.M.A.R.T GOALS!!!
Jessica Quintero is a Career Navigator for the Workforce Solutions Regional Team. Jessica brings over 23 years of experience in the insurance industry and over 2 years of experience within Workforce Solutions. She is a graduate from the University of Phoenix, where she studied Business Management. She is dedicated to educating herself and learning from her experiences so that she can inspire others to be their best selves