Making Resolutions That Count

Every year, as January creeps up on the calendar, we all begin to think about the different ways we could improve our behaviors, habits, and set goals for the next year. It is very common to push responsibilities that we originally set for ourselves as “Resolutions” for the next year, and alleviate the pressure of the goals for now. This method could be functional. However, that initial passion and determination we hold for our resolutions often fades, and we find ourselves setting the same resolutions year after year.

“If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up someplace else.”

Yogi Berra

The concept of a resolution is a good one – it is all about setting a goal! However, functional goals can be difficult to set. In this blog post we will go over some simple and efficient tactics to goal-setting that are sure to beef up your resolutions this year!

To begin the process of strategic goal-setting, analyze where you fall short in the different areas of your life. Although admitting shortcomings can be a difficult journey, remember that the first step is to recognize areas of improvement! We recommend working with peers and close friends to discuss areas of improvement. Be sure to be specific in talking about weakness areas; a vague goal is worse than no goal at all.

A goal properly set is halfway reached.” 

Zig Ziglar

man and woman working together on individual career services

Once you have recognized the areas of your life that need improvement, whether in the office, at home, or in a personal capacity, the goal-setting process comes into play. We recommend using the S.M.A.R.T. Goal Setting technique.

Starting With SMART Goals!

After completing the specific nature of your goals, you must move on to making them measurable and achievable. Be concrete: make your goals quantitative, with a method to determine if they are met.

Do not strive to exercise more, set a goal to exercise three days a week, three weeks every month. Do not set a resolution to read more in the coming year, set a goal to read twelve books, one book per month, with each book having at least 200 pages.

Set measurable goals, but do not forget to make them achievable! It can be very easy to set objectives that are unattainable. In the process of setting goals, remember that you always want to be on the side of caution. You can always go above and beyond your goals, but you cannot achieve a target if your arrow falls short! That being said, do not go easy on yourself. Setting goals that are too easily obtained will not get you to where you need to go.

So: set difficult goals, but not too difficult – sounds easy, right? We know that at times the process can be difficult, but with practice and determination, you will find your goal-setting sweet spot!

“You have to set goals that are almost out of reach. 
If you set a goal that is attainable without much 
work or thought, you are stuck with something below 
your true talent and potential.” 

Steve Garvey

The last two parts of this method of goal-setting is to set relevant and time-bound goals. This means setting goals that pertain directly to areas of improvement in your life, with a determined due date. This will motivate you and keep you devoted to your plan. Using resolutions as an example, an easy time limit could be six months, or a year, with intermittent checkpoints to analyze your progress.

EDGS (Every Day Goal Setting)

Before wrapping up this quick tutorial on goal-setting, we want to remind everyone that really valuable goals do not come just once a year, while everyone is forming their resolutions. Goals should be set frequently to ensure we are performing at top quality. Everyday goals can be as simple as writing down your errands, or setting an intention for the week. If we only set goals for ourselves once a year, it would take years and years to improve!

As resolution season approaches, we ask you to start early, and start small – begin setting S.M.A.R.T. goals for yourself every day, and watch yourself improve even before the new year.

“If you set goals and go after them with all the 
determination you can muster, your gifts will take 
you places that will amaze you.”

Les Brown