When we talk about New Year, we talk about Resolutions. New Year signifies new beginnings, and encourages us to get rid of the old and embrace new ideas.
How many of you have made new year resolutions in the past only to fail? Thank you for being honest. I have been there, done that..
Albert Einstein has defined Insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
This year I decided to put a stop to this insanity of new years resolutions by using this abstract concept of SMART to define my own SMART Resolutions.
Being a Physical therapist I have always set up short-term and long-term goals for my patients using the acronym SMART. All I had to do this year was to define my resolutions in a SMART fashion.
My resolution this year is to become tech savvy. This is a very general resolution which loses its meaning very quickly unless even I know what I specifically want to learn.
How do I change this into a smart resolution using the SMART acronym?
Lets take a look at how I have done this.
S stands for Specific and needs to answer five questions:
- What: What do I want to accomplish? Learn how to electronically pay bills. Learn how to organize my photos. Learn how to file documents.
- Why? State specific reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing the goals. Make this world a greener place, Save on stamps, keep things organized.
- Who? Who is involved? My husband and I are involved since he knows how to and has to teach me.
- Where? Identify a location. Our home
- Which? Identify requirements and constraints. We need a good laptop computer and my willingness to learn.
M stands for measurable
Measurable goal will usually answer questions such as:
- How much? We will spend one hour a week
- How many? for the next 4 to 6 weeks
- How will I know when it is accomplished? By March 2013 I should be able to pay our bills electronically independently.
A stands for attainable
The third term stresses the importance of goals that are realistic and attainable. When you identify goals that are most important to you, you begin to figure out ways you can make them come true.
An attainable goal will usually answer the question:
How: How can the goal be accomplished? By setting aside a regular time every weekend to learn this task.
R is for relevant
The fourth term stresses the importance of choosing goals that matter to you. This is very relevant for me since it moves me one step closer to understanding technology versus being afraid to use it.
T is for time based
The fifth term stresses the importance of grounding goals within a time frame, giving them a target date.
- When? For me I have chosen a specific time over the weekend to learn.
- What can I do 6 months from now? Make sure that I am able to pay all our bills electronically.
- What can I do 6 weeks from now? I hope to have a system in place to organize our documents and photos and not miss on bill payments.
- What can I do today? Share my resolutions with my family so they can help me accomplish them.
A general resolution for someone may be taming the bulge or to lose weight. A smart resolution may consist of firstly defining the number of pounds you want to lose in 2013 followed by choosing more than one of the following to achieve the bigger goal of losing weight by :
- to do aerobic exercise 20 to 30 minutes a day 4 to 5 times a week.
- eat x amount of calories a day.
- drink 6-8 glasses of water daily.
- lift weights 3 X week.
- Eat x grams of fiber daily to keep yourself satiated.
A general resolution may be to spend more time with family and friends:
A smart resolution will identify:
- names of people you want to spend time with.
- Identify activities with which you can connect with them.
- Identify when you both or more people can connect.
- Remind yourself why this is relevant to you and let go of perfection in your relationship.This may be the hardest thing to do. Actually pat your back when you do that.
- Make sure that evaluate how your relationships are in six months from now and at the end of 2013.
I have heard Master Tina Newberry, sixth degree Taekwondo black belt master,say Goals you set are the goals you get. Knowing that you will not fail using smart where S is for specific, M is for measurable, A is for attainable, R is for relevant and T is for time based I hope you feel better equipped to write those new years resolutions.
It is not too late. On this 4th day of January, you can still set forth SMART resolutions for yourself.
References: SMART on Wikipedia.