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Wednesday, January 4, 2012


Happy New Year. 

Sure it’s already January 4, but we can keep saying that—through January at least. 

One of the things January means for many of us is that it’s time to set goals. Those New Year’s Resolutions. Yep, I’m one of those folks. Hubby and I set them every year. We even review them quarterly; revise where needed; evaluate; adjust. 

This year I thought I’d share mine with you. And you could share them with all of us. We can discuss, review, revise, evaluate and adjust together.  

Let’s take a few weeks to do it. This week, we’ll start with a quick review of how to set goals. Next Monday, I’ll share my spiritual goals for 2012. Monday, January 16, I’ll share my writing goals for 2012. Monday, January 23, I’ll share a few personal goals and we’ll recap together. 

Then stay tuned for quarterly goal reviews at the end of March, June, September, and December. We all need encouragement and a good nagging to keep ourselves on track and accountable. I’m here for ya, baby! 

Here’s the standard advice for setting SMART and SMARTER goals—nicely set out by Stephen Covey in “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.” 

Goals should be: 

SPECIFIC: No fair saying, “I want to lose weight.” A better goal is to say, “I will lose 20 pounds in 2012.” 

MEASURABLE: Know how to measure your progress. A goal to lose 20 pounds has little meaning if you don’t know your weight when you begin.  

ACHIEVABLE: A goal also has little meaning if you can’t achieve it. You probably won’t be able to lose 250 pounds in 2012; but losing 10-50 probably is achievable. 

RELEVANT: If a goal has no meaning, you have no incentive to work toward it. If you’re 6’ tall and weigh 150 pounds, then having a goal to lose more weight is irrelevant. 

TIME-BASED: Plan ahead for your progress so your review will be more meaningful each quarter. If your goal is to lose 20 pounds in 2012 you might plan to lose 5 pounds each quarter. At the end of the quarter, you can check your progress and see how you’re doing, with your time-based goal in mind.

SMARTER goals, add Evaluate and Reassess. So each quarter we’ll evaluate how we’ve done and reassess the goals and how we might plan better for the next three months.

OK, friends. Now that we have had a little review on how to set our goals, start thinking about what you’d like to accomplish in 2012. Let’s put God first. Come back next week and we'll share our spiritual goals.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank you for making us teachable and changeable. We want to live better lives for you. Please help us do so. Inspire us with how you’d have us change. Encourage us and help us encourage each other. Amen.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? Will you commit to setting some spiritual goals for 2012? Spend the week thinking about them and come back next Monday to share.


Traci B said...

Good post, Carol. I like your SMART and SMARTER tips lists.

I've made my list for this year; you can read about it here: New practices for a new year

From Carols Quill said...

@ Traci - yes, your post is great inspiration. It's more likely you'll get where you want to go if you have an idea how to get there!

Tracy Krauss said...

You are spot on! Last year when I set myself some very specific and measurable goals I was able to achieve them all!

From Carols Quill said...

Way to go, Tracy! Here's to more achievable goals for 2012!

chris said...

thanks for the SMART reminder Carol :)

I have a spiritual goal... "believe" that I need to make "SMARTER" ...

I need to post something related to "believe" at least once a month this year... that way I can share what I'm learning... and bee accountable!

From Carols Quill said...

@ Chris - yes, share each month so we can grow along with you.