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Forget resolutions, be S.M.A.R.T.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t think of a New Year’s resolution I’ve actually kept. One year I resolved to lose 30 lbs. I concentrated on it for few weeks but didn’t reach my goal – I think I lost 10 lbs that year. Another year I resolved to clean out my closets and – much to my husband’s chagrin – that never happened.

In the hopes of feeling better about myself I started asking coworkers and other business professionals if they plan to make a New Year’s resolution in 2017. A few said they are going to make more money, others said they are going to lose weight but most said they aren’t going to make resolutions. Like me, their resolution fails haunt them and have been disillusioned by the practice.

After some reflection about my previous resolutions I came to the realization that tackling a BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) is just too daunting. So in 2017 I’m going to concentrate on setting a S.M.A.R.T. goal.

S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym for the five steps of Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely, to create a tangible, realistic goal.

S – Specific

State exactly what you want to accomplish.

Be specific. If your goal is to make more money how are you going to do that? If you are in sales maybe your goal should be to meet more people, attend more networking events etc.

M – Measurable

Determine how you will demonstrate and evaluate the extent to which the goal has been met.

A – Attainable

Is the goal within your ability to achieve the outcome?

Setting too many goals can be overwhelming. Stick to one, maybe two manageable goals.

R – Relevant

How does the goal tie into your role and responsibilities? Is it aligned with your objectives?

Choose a goal gets you closer to your 5-year-plan. If your goal is to become an Accounting Manager consider taking steps to obtain CPA certification. (If this is something you are interested in here is a link with the steps to become a CPA: http://www.mncpa.org/becoming-a-cpa/process.aspx)

T – Timely

Set a timeline to complete your goal.

Allowing yourself too much time to complete a goal (like by next year) can lead to procrastination. Set milestones throughout the year to keep you accountable and motivated.