Monday, December 27, 2010

New Year's Resolution & Goal Setting

As the year finishes, it natural that our attentions turn to reflecting on the past year and even further back to previous years. We are likely to consider what has gone well and what are some areas for personal development or improvement.

According to Wikipedia “a new year's resolution is a commitment that an individual makes to a project or the reforming of a habit, often a life style change that is generally interpreted as advantageous”.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Flickr by beethalin"][/caption]

While the idea of getting on board with a new year's resolution might be powerful, it is not without it's risks of failure. As the saying goes … piss poor planning results in piss poor results. If your goals are to be realised, some planning needs to be undertaken. It is estimated that only 12% of new years resolutions are realised, according to quirkology.com. However with planning this percentage can be raised, a process for measuring and tracking your goals needs to be utilised.

Smart goals can assist you to realise your new year's resolution. SMART is an acronym used to aid in goal setting. Also it is considered more effective if the goal statement is actually written down. Do not try to put two goals into the one SMART statement, its better to write two separate statements.

The following provides a breakdown of the SMART goals process:

S - specific
What specifically needs to be achieved? It important to provide sufficient detail so there is no indecision as to what you should be doing. It can be helpful to ask where, when, why statements to improve the specificity.

1. Example – go to the gym
2. Improved – go to Smith's Gym on King St Newtown
3. Improved – go to Smith's Gym on King St Newtown every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday.

M - measurable
How will you know if the goal has been met? A good goal identifies the measures in completing a goal. If the measures of the goal are not quantifiable, the results should be observable.

1. Example – go to Smith's Gym on King St Newtown every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday for next 6 months.
2. Improved - go to Smith's Gym on King St Newtown every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday for next 6 months starting from November 1.

A - attainable or achievable
Is the goal realistic? Can it be completed within time limitations and within available resources?

1. Fact – I finish work Monday, Tuesday and Thursday at 3pm, by the time I get home and change I can be at the gym by 4pm, there are two classes between 4pm and 6pm. The classes run for 60 minutes. Wednesday night I go to TAFE and Friday night there are drinks after work, so those nights are out of the picture.

2. Example - By November 1 start going to Smith's Gym on King St Newtown every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday for next 6 months between 4pm and 6pm to complete the 1 hour weight class.

R - realistic or relevant or results
A single goal can contribute to the achievement of a larger set of goals. What are the forces that will help or hinder the accomplishment of the goal?

1. Fact – I have a number of good clothes that are a bit tight around the waist, and my job is not very active – so a little be of activity would be good for before my overseas trip in August. However unexpected events do arise, these need to be considered.

2. Example - By November 1 start going to Smith's Gym on King St Newtown every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday for next 6 months between 4pm and 6pm to complete the 1 hour class. Missing only 6 classes.

T - traceable or timing or tangible
It is claimed that when a goal is tangible there is a greater chance of measuring success. Traceable, you can trace progress towards the completion of the goal. Timing, allowing sufficient time to complete the necessary tasks that make up the goal or considering all other activities you have to complete while achieving your goal.

1. Fact – the goal is traceable and time based by having a start date, duration and frequency; Monday, Tuesday and Thursday between 4pm and 6pm for 1 hour.

Final SMART goal statement:
By November 1 (time) start going to Smith's Gym on King St Newtown every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday (specific) for next 6 months between 4pm and 6pm (traceable) to complete the 1 hour class (measure). Missing up to 6 classes (realistic).

Remember:
SMART goals should always be written, displayed somewhere for ongoing review. The act of writing the gaol instead of only thinking about it ensures a greater commitment to achieving the goal; write only one goal per goal statement.

Sources:
Cole, K (2005) Management Theory and Practice, 3rd edn, Pearson Education Australia, Frenchs Forest NSW.
Davidson, P & Griffin, R (2000) Management Australia in a global context, John Wiley & sons, Milton Qld.

Author: Craig Birrell (c)2010
No reproduction with out permission

[print_link] For graphic/photo/image credits.

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