Forget The Resolutions! It's Time For Some SMART Thinking!

by Kate Harper - Date: 2007-01-03 - Word Count: 965 Share This!

"Where there is life, there is hope. Where there are hopes, there are dreams. Where there are vivid dreams repeated, they become goals. Goals become the action plans and game plans that winners dwell on in intricate detail, knowing that achievement is almost automatic when the goal becomes an inner commitment. The response to the challenges of life -- purpose -- is the healing balm that enables each of us to face up to adversity and strife."

Denis Waitley, Seeds of Greatness

New Year and making Resolutions seem to go hand in hand these days, as does breaking them almost immediately. How many people do you actually know who made a resolution and then stuck to it last year? Not many, if any at all! Well, my advice to you this year is to forget about the Resolutions and start thinking SMART. Yes, SMART. As in setting SMART Goals. Decide what you would like to achieve this year and beyond, and then plan it. Use this week or even this month to get the foundations in place to really make something happen this time.

So what's this SMART stuff all about, some of you may ask? (Although I am sure that many of you already know, but just need a little reminder!) When it comes to goal-setting, we need to get it right, especially right for us, not necessarily for other people. Here's one way of thinking about it….

Specific - You need to have a clear vision of what you want to achieve. Measurable - How can you track that you are going in the right direction? Achievable - Can this really be done, even if it will stretch and challenge you? Realistic - Are you willing and able to work towards this goal? Is it do-able? Time-Driven - What's your deadline? This gives you a clear target to aim for.

Have you actually decided what your goals are, or are you still bumbling along feeling dissatisfied with how things are? Take time to think about where and how you want to be if you are not happy with things as they are. Use the SMART guidelines and set yourself some goals, both short and long term. Set priorities and think about what needs to happen first. Think strategies. Larger goals can be broken down into smaller goals, leading you step-by-step to success. Have daily goals (though not too many, as you really don't want to carry them over to tomorrow!) to get you used to daily action and daily achievement. And do something every day. If you do nothing you will change nothing.

Have you avoided thinking about what you'd like to achieve, possibly because you are rather afraid? Afraid of failure, perhaps, or even afraid of success? Take time also to consider whether the things you think you ought to be doing are really the things that you want to be doing. Are you thinking negatively? If you are, this can drag you down mentally, emotionally and physically, and stop you from moving ahead. It takes time and practice, but choose to take a positive attitude to what faces you, even if it is a challenge.

As long as you're going to be thinking about your future and where you want to be, why not think BIG! Don't let anything limit your vision of what you want your life to be like. Some things that we thought impossible a few years back have come about through developments in all sorts of fields, such as technology, engineering, medicine and nutrition. If it is what you really want, then why not go for it!

Take time to think things through; but when the time to take action arrives, don't hold back. If your thinking time has been well spent, your path will be clear. Decide to get yourself into the best possible state, physical and mental, to tackle what needs to be done. Taking action and being active will result in progress.

Whose goal is it anyway? If you can't change it, then choose to own it. Be committed. Make the journey towards achievement part of the excitement. Even the mundane tasks needing to be completed can become appealing when you approach them with a sense of lightness and fun. Make a game of it and give yourself a prize every time you accomplish something well. (Lose points for a sloppy job!)

What's a formula for success? Thinking + Action = Results. Is it a plain sailing as that? Of course not. Almost every day you'll be faced with something that didn't turn out quite as expected, that went wrong, or even appeared calamitous! So do something new. Learn from what went wrong and do something differently.

Think of ways to use your creativity to help you visualize what it is you are aiming to achieve. Be aware that the language you use when writing your goals down is a very powerful thing. Use it to inspire and excite you to excel. If words aren't your thing, how about creating a visual depiction of your aspirations, using any medium you like? Even those people who consider themselves lacking in creativity are capable of putting together ideas using a large piece of card, glue and a pile of magazines and newspapers. Contact me if you really have no idea of what to do next!

Do you believe in yourself and are you committed to doing what needs to be done to achieve what you want? Excited? A little fearful, knowing that things may go wrong, but willing to learn from the experience and develop and grow? So what now? It really is down to you. If you are going to make any Resolutions this year make only one - to be SMART in your thinking and to turn your thoughts into results with action. Remember, if you do nothing you will change nothing. Happy New Year!

Related Tags: success, commitment, smart, goals, positive attitude, resolutions, action plan, excitement

Kate Harper is a Motivation Coach based in the beautiful Highlands of Scotland. Check out her website

She works with people from all over the world who are seeking change in their lives. If that is you, please take a look at Kate's website. Her special interests are the promotion of Wellbeing and Self Confidence through her coaching.

"The distance is nothing; it is only the first step that is difficult." Madame Marie du Deffand

Take your first step today and contact Kate.

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