365 Days for SMART Goals

It’s that time of year again – when many of us make New Year’s Resolutions, setting our minds on something achieving new, different, or better than last year.  It’s easy to stay motivated for the first few weeks, then, other priorities start to find their way to the top of the to-do list and the resolution is eventually set aside. 

A helpful tip that I like  for accomplishing these types of goals is to keep the end in sight by monitoring progress along the way.  A simple technique I use is S.M.A.R.T. Goal Setting:

Specific
Measurable
Attainable
Realistic
Timely

Begin with a specific, measurable goal and determine a clear end date.  Then, map out some short-term goals for along the way to help you stay on track and record your progress.  It’s important that your short-term goals be attainable and positive so that you don’t become discouraged – it will feel great to achieve small goals along the way — be sure to celebrate when you do!  I find it helpful to have a daily visual reminder – an encouraging photo, note on a mirror, or even a positive thought or scripture in my mind – something that will be used daily (maybe I should write it down, ha).  Remember to remain optimistic and state your goals using positive words…

Long-Term Goal:  (positive words here)    Will be achieved by:  (specific date)

Short-Term Goal #1                                            I will accomplish by:
Short-Term Goal #2                                            I will accomplish by:
Short-Term Goal #3                                            I will accomplish by:

One of my goals for 2011 is to do something nice for someone else each day – it can be as simple as a kind smile or letting someone in when traffic is congested, but my hope is to be able to spread kindness and make it a permanent way of life.  I will set some short-term goals that include more significant acts, and hopefully, at the end of 365 days I will have helped in the viral spread of pure kindness!  I joined the FB group “365 Acts of Kindness” last year after hearing about it on K-Love — the group’s mission serves as a daily reminder to me.

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