The Secret to Making Smart Goals

Happy New Year everyone! I know, I know. It’s the third week of January and all the holiday decorations are back in storage. But I’m not comfortable writing “2017” yet, so the year still feels new. I’m going to start 2017 by talking about goals. This is related to my ruminations last month about measuring success (here’s a link).   Anyone who knows me knows that I am a big fan of lists. I make lists for everything: groceries, errands, tasks at work, packing lists, book lists. Heck, right now I’m making a list of lists! I love lists for two reasons. First, I’m forgetful. Second, checking items off the list is rewarding. You see, every list is filled with opportunities for success. Checking an item off the list means I achieved a goal – woohoo! I’m being successful!   And that’s the key. Goals are vital to success because they are the method of measurement! Trying to achieve success without clear, measurable goals is like trying to run a race without knowing where the finish line is.  The secret to making smart goals is…   Actually, there is no secret. SMART is an acronym. The components form a template for setting a quality goal. A SMART goal is: SPECIFIC (the opposite of vague) MEASURABLE (it should include numbers) ACTIONABLE (something you can do like eat, learn, write) REALISTIC (keep your expectations high, but achievable) TIME-BOUND (this is your finish line!)   Here are a few examples:   Original Goals SMART Goals Make more money. Increase sales by 1% each month this year. Be healthier. Make dinner at home 5 nights each...