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The new year is in full swing and many people have high hopes for what 2021 has in store, especially after the crazy year 2020 ended up being. With an awful year behind us, now is the perfect time to make new goals and New Year’s resolutions to benefit our personal and professional lives. Many people are still unsure of what they want to accomplish this year, which is okay. For those still thinking of what they want to work on, here is a “SMART” way to get started.
SMART is an acronym that stands for:
Achievable or attainable
When starting to formulate your SMART goal, you want it to be as specific as possible. Narrow in on one skill, project, or milestone you want reach. Once you establish a specific goal, it is easier to figure out how to achieve it. For example, if you say, “I want to become more productive while working at home,” there is no definite start, middle, or end point. You want to ask yourself, “can I achieve my goal?” and “how am I going to achieve my goal?” Most people don’t always take enough time to plan out their goals and what is required of them to complete them.
Another component of creating a goal for yourself is measuring how long it will take to achieve your goal. There are different types of goal categories like short term and long term so depending on what your goal is, you want to manage how long it will take you to reach it. It is important to think logically of what you want to accomplish and how long you expect to work on it. If you have a specific date you want to complete your goal, it is very important to plan as soon as possible so you can get started and finish without worrying about getting off track. The best way to measure out time is by creating a plan and setting daily or weekly reminders to keep up with it.
Going through the steps of creating a SMART goal can be overwhelming to some and one of the best ways to make it more motivating is to reward yourself in the process. Create milestones along the way and plan rewards for when you reach them. Milestones encourage you to keep going and make accomplishing your goal both productive and fun. If you’ve lost weight, reward yourself with a “SMART” shopping spree or if you finished a big presentation at work ahead of schedule, give yourself a well-deserved, relaxing break or a special meal.
One of the obvious questions you should ask yourself when creating a SMART goal is, “Can I do this?” If by the time you reach the achievable factor in SMART and your answer to this question is no, you might want to go back to the drawing board and make some adjustments. You want to make realistic goals that you can achieve in the appropriate timeframe you give yourself. If your goal is to run a marathon, you want to make sure you plan enough time to prepare and train so that you can participate and have the ability to do your best.
One of the last factors of creating your goal should be its relevance and timeliness in your life. If you’re choosing your goals based on popular trends, pop culture, and what your friends and family are doing, it doesn’t always match your priorities and lifestyle. You want to create goals that are going to benefit you and what’s going on in your life at the moment or will benefit you in the future.
Perhaps some of the best goals to make in 2021 is to try improving or learning a new skill. The workplace is constantly changing and learning new skills to adapt to them is a great way to be productive and get ahead. Learning new skills doesn’t just have to benefit your professional life; it could benefit your personal life too. Many of us are still at home and are looking for new ways to entertain ourselves in our free time so it wouldn’t be a bad idea to watch some cooking videos on YouTube or take a Master Class in photography. Keep up with the latest trends and impress your friends with your new skills when the world completely opens up again.
Lastly, it’s time to look at the timeframe you want to complete your goal in. Just like achieving your goal, this is a crucial part of your goal. If you answer no to the question, “Can I accomplish my goal in this timeframe?” you need to go back and rework your ideas and steps. Think about the goal you want to accomplish and if you have the time to complete it in the time you’ve set aside. Once you’ve established a realistic timeframe, you are ready to roll and get started.
The world is still very uncertain as we begin to think long term and where we see ourselves in the coming months ahead. If there is anything we learned from 2020, it’s that we are capable of modifying our methods and adapting to different circumstances if the need arises. When you think about what goals you want to accomplish this year, think about how you might have to modify it to fit developing circumstances. For example, having to go back into quarantine or going back to the office fully. We don’t know that 2021 will have in store, but if we were able to power through 2020, we have the ability to challenge ourselves to crush this year too and come back stronger and “SMARTER” than before.
January 11, 2021