Here we are, one week into our new year! We enter a new year, new decade, and we have new opportunities as a result. What will this year bring? 365 opportunities!
With the new year in mind, we hear a lot about resolutions and the desire to make a change in our lives, however in the last couple of years, I have made a shift in my thinking on this. I have changed from making a resolution, to setting SMART goals. The reason? For me it was simple- SMART goals give me greater opportunities for success, where as a resolution is pretty much 50/50.
What is a SMART goal?
The word SMART is an acronym. It stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely. Lets dive into each category of what makes a SMART goal:
First of all, your goal must be something that is easy to identify. To set a goal of “being more active” may imply that you will move around more, but it fails to identify how you will actually do that. Will it be achieved by going for a walk? Hitting the gym? Running? A Sport? Setting a specific goal will drill down to the “How” of the goal
To follow the illustration above, if a goal is set to “be more active” one must address the measurement of this goal. How does one quantify the work “more” and how will you ensure that this goal is followed for more than a month? “More” requires a further step of identifying how much that is. Will “more” be once a week? Twice? Daily? This is the measurement of the goal
If you work a full time job, or if you manage a household with three toddlers running around, your goal of “being more active” might not work out for you if your measurement for this is eight hours a day. If you are working, or looking after children, chances are good that your priorities and responsibilities will prevent this measurement from being attainable. No matter what your situation, setting a goal that you can attain is essential to it’s success
If your goal is not just to “be more active” but to also make the national team for running a marathon this year in the Olympics after ten years of couch surfing, you might want to check out how realistic you are being in setting your goals. This goal might be realistic for some, however for most it will be a stretch. Setting a realistic goal means you set yourself up for success. A marathon might be possible, however it might not be realistic to think you will make the national team in one year
When will your goals be completed? How much time will you give yourself? If your goal is to run a marathon, when will you do it? Will it be in six months? A year? Two years? Setting appropriate timelines for yourself to achieve your goals is also essential. To properly prepare for a marathon, it is unrealistic to think that you will be ready in two weeks if you have had a poor diet and fitness lifestyle. Set timely goals that can be worked with. Make a plan that includes a timeline for what you want to achieve.
I set smart goals personally and in business. You know what? Sometimes I fall short of what I set out to do. Falling short is not failure though. You must recognize that progress was made, and that you still achieved part of what you wanted to do. Doing what you can within your power to achieve a goal is never a recipe for failure, but rather the fuel for success
All the best to you from the team at Prairie Insurance this year! If you have financial goals this year, why not talk to one of our team members about your insurance needs and costs- it could just help you reach your SMART goal for 2020!