Invariably around this time of year, every year, our thoughts will sooner or later turn to the New Year and what we hope to accomplish. This hope comes in the form of New Year’s resolutions, commitments to one’s self or goals.
When it comes to setting goals remember to keep it S.M.A.R.T. (I told you it was an oldie but goodie). The origin of this acronym dates back to 1981, and has been interpreted a number of different ways since then but my preference is:
S…. make your goals specific. Not “I want to open a business” but rather “I will open a Property Management business in the Corporate Housing Industry”
M…. make sure your goals are measurable; otherwise they are no more than a dream. “I want to lose a lot of weight this coming year” is a wonderful thought but “I want to lose 20lbs by the end of the New Year” is a measurable goal. Did you or did you not reach it?
A…are your goals attainable. Specifically, is it even possible to reach that goal? For me, a goal to be President of the United States is not attainable, since I’m not a natural born U.S. citizen.
R… is your goal realistic? As much as I want to be an NBA center, it’s just not realistic. Perhaps a better example would be “I want to own the largest corporate housing business in the relocation industry by the end of next year”…sorry to disappoint you, but that just isn’t realistic at all!
T…your goals must have a time frame. That is a date, or number of days, weeks, months or years by which time you will have achieved that goal. Without the deadline a goal is no more than a wish.
One last thing, to be truly successful in reaching your goals they need to be written down. It’s not good enough to say “oh I know what my goals are because I keep them in my head all the time.” If you’ve taken the time to set your goals why not stack the deck in your favor by taking that small step of writing them down. Then share them with a friend, business coach or trusted advisor; at AvenueWest Managed Corporate Housing our franchises share their goals with our founder, Kimberly Smith, and myself. Then hold yourself accountable throughout the year by sharing updates on your progress with those advisors. Don’t accept my word for it, check out Dr. Gail Mathews’ study at: http://www.dominican.edu/dominicannews/study-backs-up-strategies-for-achieving-goals
And remember…take your goals out and read them from time to time…are they still what you want? Are you on track to achieving them? Do you still even want to attain that particular goal? If not, go ahead change it…you’re allowed…THEY ARE YOURS!