- About Us
- Legislative Center
A SMART Start to a New Year
By Brian J. Wagner
Happy 2019! I wish you and your family all the best for a happy, healthy and blessed New Year. As you begin the year, have you started setting goals on what you want to accomplish this year? Do you have a plan on how to get there? Let me remind you what Ben Franklin once said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” Not sure where to start? Let me help. Here’s the scoop!
You have to be smart when you are establishing goals, whether at the beginning, middle or end of a year. What do I mean? The acronym SMART is widely used as an effective way of defining goals in a clear, objective, structured and detailed way. Its criteria are commonly attributed to Peter Drucker’s “Management by Objectives” concept. The term first was used by George T. Doran in the November 1981 issue of Management Review.
A SMART goal must conform to the following criteria: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely:
• S—A goal should be specific. What exactly is it you want to achieve? How, when and where will it happen?
• M—A goal should be measurable. What will it look like if you achieve your objective? What evidence will show you have been successful?
• A—A goal should be attainable. Can you realistically reach your goal? The whole point of a goal is for it to be a challenge—something that will push, not punish you, but shouldn’t be impossible.
• R—A goal should be relevant. Is it personal? Why do you want to reach it?
• T—A goal should be timely. When will you achieve it? All objectives need a deadline that will hold accountability to your actions and progress.
What is your personal or career focus for the new year? Did you make NAPS part of your New Year’s goals? It’s easy to do. How?
Take time to list your priorities with pen and paper and rank them in order of importance. Determine what essential commitments you already have made. What important dates—anniversaries, birthdays, holidays, weddings and other special events—do you need to plan around?
Get them scheduled on a yearly calendar. Once you have the major events on your calendar, you will have a better idea of what kinds of projects and goals for the year will be realistic for you to complete.
Besides using a calendar to plan your events to reach a goal, also list your projects for the year. This step is all about figuring out the “big” things you want to accomplish, then breaking down those goals into smaller steps.
Here are some suggestions to get you started thinking about setting realistic goals for 2019:
• Financial—save for a family vacation, college education or a new car.
• Work—earn a promotion.
• Home—paint the house, remodel a bathroom or plant a garden.
• Health—lose 10 pounds, establish a workout routine or run a marathon.
• NAPS—attend your branch meetings, state convention and training, volunteer for a committee, sign new members or donate a set amount to SPAC.
Whatever goals you establish for yourself in 2019, make the SMART choice. Set goals you will enjoy accomplishing and that will make you happy in the new year.