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Reflections and Resolutions (Part 2)

January 2nd, 2017 · No Comments

Welcome 2017!

My favorite part of starting a new year is the blank calendar: a fresh start, time for setting new goals and priorities. I’ve given up on making and keeping New Year’s resolutions way back in my teens. Instead I like to set goals.

So, what is the difference between a resolution and a goal, well just look at their definitions:

Resolution is a firm decision to do or not do something.
Goal is the object of a person’s ambition and efforts; an aim or desired result.

Our human nature tends to rebel against resolutions. How many time have we resolved to eat healthier or lose weight and succumbed to the-cheesecake-for-dessert temptation when out to dinner in mid-January?  Research shows that only 8% of people that set New Year’s resolutions actually achieve them.

Setting goals is a much more successful strategy to make the changes you desire for 2017. We are all familiar with setting goals at work and at home. Some goals may be short-term, like getting all the of laundry folded and put away before the end of the day. A longer-term goal may be decluttering the house prior to listing it in the real estate market. To accomplish these goals, I must ‘schedule’ or invest time to achieve them.

Goal-setting helps you focus on your long-term vision. If they are SMART goals they will also provide you with the short-term motivation needed to accomplish them. Goal setting also helps you add purpose and meaning to your life. Keep in mind that typically your daily habits will change when you are focused on achieving a goal. Achieving a goal is like taking a journey.

Here is the S.M.A.R.T. way to set goals for 2017.

Specific – set a specific goal by answering the six ‘W’ questions:  Who, What, Where, When, Which, and Why
Measurable – when you measure your progress, you stay on track, reach your target dates and ultimately reach you goal.
Attainable – define ways you can make your goals come true, develop the attitudes, abilities, skills to reach them.
Realistic – a goal should be something you are both willing and able to work towards.
Timely – a goal without a time frame has no sense of urgency. Give yourself a deadline.

Review your goals and make sure that they motivate you. Write them down and share them with a close friend. Make your action plan and stick with it! It is fine to adjust or change your goals throughout the year. Look forward to the accomplishments and personal growth in your life as you set and achieve your 2017 goals. Happy New Year.

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