There is no timeline for starting goals, but the new year always brings about reflection on the past and the future. So, let's talk about goal-setting and how to structure them in a way that sets you up for success!
Writing the Goals
If you've never heard of the SMART method, it's a popular strategy I used with my students each quarter. It's an acronym and there are a few variations, but it stands for Specific, Measurable, Action-Oriented, Realistic, Time-Bound. Let's break that down using some common New Years Resolutions.
Specific: "Get Healthy" is so vague and wide, which makes it harder to work towards and measure. Try narrowing that into a specific area or habit, like "Prep lunches so I don't eat out," "Attend yoga class," "Take more walks."
Measurable: How do you measure success of a goal without a quantifiable value? So, adding to the previous specific goals, this would look like:
"Prep Lunches 5 days/week, only buy Dinner out 2x/wk."
"Attend yoga class 3-4 days/week."
"Walk 20-minutes everyday."
You could also use it with an ultimate goal #, not just the frequency you are practicing this new habit/goal.
"Acquire 4 new wholesale accounts."
"Lose 10 pounds."
"Pay off remaining car loan. (Whatever the amount)"
Action-Oriented: This part is just ensuring that there are tangible practices or steps you can take towards your goal. They may be challenging, but you know what you need to do in order to achieve it. It may involve enlisting other people or tools.
Pay off remaining car loan by setting aside $x from each paycheck towards it and using x% of remaining monthly money.
Prep lunches 5x/week by making a shopping list and buying the food on Sundays, then setting a timer for 30 minutes to put together meals.
Acquire 4 new wholesale accounts by sending 2 emails/wk to potential vendors, following 3 new vendor accounts on IG/wk, & updating wholesale catalog.
Realistic: Check yourself before you wreck yourself! We all have to start somewhere, and going big right off the bat is usually setting you up to fail. Is this goal realistic for you; is it challenging but achievable? We are often more likely to keep going with new goals if we see success in our first ones - so start with something you feel confident in!
Time-Bound: Set a time frame for yourself! This makes it so much easier to reflect on your goal and check your progress. This could be an ultimate deadline, or include steps along the way as well.
Walk 20 minutes everyday for one month straight. (Set start and end date)
Acquire 4 new wholesale accounts (with steps listed) by the end of Quarter 1.
Pay off remaining car loan by June 30 (by ....).
I think you get the point! I'm sure you've got some ideas stirring in there now. This is such a helpful way to look at your priorities and find what will realistically work for you. Will these goals be easy? Probably not, but that doesn't mean they're not attainable.
This method can be used for any aspect of your life: goals for yourself as a parent, as a business owner, in your career, in your spiritual life, physically, etc.
Making them KNOWN & Checking In
Now, don't just jot these in your diary and hide it away. You need to be reminding yourself of them constantly. Make a poster to hang somewhere. Write it weekly in your planner. Set a phone reminder to reflect on them regularly. Whatever works. Obviously I prefer using the end-of-month section of my planner to reflect because it helps me to write down my thoughts and how I need to improve/stay the course moving forward.
Now, go comment on my Instagram post or below with what your Goals are!