Happy New Year! Welcome 2015!
Well, here we are. It’s 2015.
That makes me think of a few things.
First, it’s the year that Marty and Doc Brown travel to in the Back to the Future II. Yep, 2015 was 30 years in the future from 1985. That’s kind of crazy. So naturally, I’ll be expecting some self-tying shoes and hoverboards to be released this year.
Second, it’s the new year. Time for a fresh start and a new beginning. There’s just something that feels exciting about the new year. Everything that perhaps didn’t go as planned in the previous year has come and gone and we can look to the future. There’s also just a few months left for my Class of 2015 seniors!
Third, it’s that time of year to set some goals!
Prior to the ball dropping at midnight, most people think about what “New Year’s Resolutions” they are going to set. But here’s the thing about resolutions…they kind of set you up for failure. A lot of people tend to go full throttle in an attempt to change their behaviors, only to cave to their temptations within a few days.
Who else has said, “I will stop…” or “I will no longer…” or “I will try….”? Who else has forgotten their resolutions by February 1st?
Instead, I’m loving the idea of setting an intention for the New Year. While it’s a cousin of the resolution, to me, it has a better foundation to it. Rather than resolving to stay away from cupcakes or to run 3 miles a day, I like setting intentions for the year. Intentions such as “spend more time with friends”, “go on regular date nights with my husband”, or “travel at least once this year”.
The Good, The Bad, and The Game Plan
I find that it’s always a good idea to go back through the year and think about a couple of things: The good, the bad, and then come up with the game plan.
I write down what went well, from business to personal goals to everything in between – the trips we took, the volunteering we did, and what things went right with senior portraits.
Then, I take a look at what didn’t go so well. It’s usually easier to come up with what didn’t work, but I like to start with the good. And while there were things that didn’t go so well, these are the things that we can learn from.
And finally, what I’m calling the Game Plan. What do I want to make happen this year? What needs to change from last year? What needs to be done to make those changes?
From there, I can make my goals SMART.
Setting up my goals the SMART way has been the best way for me to be successful in what I want to do for the year. Have you heard of SMART goals?
SMART stands for:
In order for a goal to be likely to happen, the goal needs to be specific. Saying “I want to volunteer more” is not a specific goal. Define the who, what, where, why, and, when. What exactly will your goal accomplish? “I want to volunteer once a week at church with the student group so that I can know what it is to serve others” is a much more specific goal. You’ll know who, what, where, when, and why.
Can you measure the success of your goal? How will you measure the success? Maybe it’s connecting with one friend a week by phone call or text message just to say hello. Maybe it’s losing 5lbs so a favorite pair of jeans fit better. Or maybe it’s when your debt is paid off. Having a benchmark to see if you’ve met your goal will help you know if you hit it.
Is your goal realistically achievable within the timeline you’ve given yourself? Say your goal is to run 100 miles over the course of 2015. That’s about 2 miles a week – if I were a runner, I’d say that’s totally doable. However, trying to run 100 miles in two weeks…that might prove to be much harder, unless you’re an ultra-marathoner, of course.
Something that I’ve learned over time is that in order for a goal to happen, it has to mean something to you. If it’s meaningless, then what’s the point, right? I want to exercise at least three times a week so that I can get in shape and live a longer life. Who doesn’t want to live a long and healthy life?
Do you have a deadline or a due date for your goal? By giving yourself a deadline, you’ll hold yourself accountable to your goal and be more likely to complete it, rather than it going into the “someday” vortex never to be heard from again. Going back to the running goal, perhaps you want to run 100 miles by June 30th. That makes your goal timely!
What are some of your goals for 2015? Leave a goal in the comments section.
Don’t forget to make them SMART!
I’ll be sharing some of my goals and tools I use for goal setting this month.
Confetti image by Shay Cochrane