How SMART are your New Year’s Resolutions?

I believe people when they say they are turning over a new leaf. Even if according to goal consultancy Leadership IQ, 85% of New Year’s Resolutions are abandoned within just 90 days.  

What I believe in is each person’s desire to reach his/her goal and make that career or life change.  Positive thinking helps (Thank you Norman Vincent Peale!) and so does setting goals that are SMART (Thank you researchers Locke and Latham!)

SMART goals are:

Specific

Measurable

Achievable

Relevant 

Time bound

By way of example, your goal right now may be to "get out a boring, dead-end job."  While it’s good to move forward, this goal is not very SMART.  Too many times people set resolutions that focus on what’s wrong but that’s demotivating. 

Rather, SMART resolutions clarify your vision for the future (what you want the change to look like) which is much more inspiring.  Using the SMART framework this goal becomes, "In the next six months, find a new career that I’m passionate about, that uses my strengths and allows me to work with interesting people.”  Doesn’t that sound like something you want to achieve!?

My goal this year is to work smarter not harder.  Using the SMART framework, my new and improved goal becomes, "Starting January 1st, 2011 spend my 168 hours each week focused on activities that matter to my personal and professional goals."  I’m motivated to make and keep this goal a priority.  

How about you?  

Do you have a New Year’s Resolution as it relates to your career?  Share it in the comments below and I’ll help you make it SMART.  WATCH my new how-to videos on SMART goal setting!

"Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending" – Carl Bard  

(Photo courtesy of Sierra Tierra.)

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