It’s hard to believe this is the last full week of January. Did you take time this month to make resolutions or set goals?

Resolutions don’t work so well for me. I usually fail within days of writing them down. I’m not alone. A whopping 80% of us fail within the first thirty days when we make resolutions.

That’s why I prefer setting S.M.A.R.T. goals for the New Year.  Being a goal setter comes from my years of teaching and having to establish learning objectives for lessons. S.M.A.R.T. goals work well for developing my writing goals.

Not familiar with S.M.A.R.T. goals?

A S.M.A.R.T. goal is specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, and timely. This PDF from the University of Virginia gives a complete explanation.

My 2018 S.M.A.R.T. goals are set and this year I’m trying a new approach. I’m selecting a guide word for the year.

A guide word is sorta like a resolution except it sets the foundation for your year by guiding all aspects of your life. If you haven’t come up goals or resolutions yet, why not select a guide word for the year?

How do you choose one word?

Start by taking stock of where you were in 2017 and where you want to be at the end of 2018. The word you choose should help bridge the gap. It can underscore a tangible outcome, a character trait you want to develop or a skill you wish to acquire or all of the above.

Here’s a neat PDF worksheet to help zero in on what word might work for you from Love Nerd Maggie. Maybe you’ll find your word there.

My word for 2018 is progress.

I kinda lost focus on in 2017. It was a crazy year with a major move and a monstrous hurricane. I couldn’t find blocks of time to write so I let my writing slide. I’m determined that will not happen this year.

I’ve posted this graphic above my computer to remind me progress does not mean something has to be perfect. It’s from the Elsie Joy Get to Workbook  (I use her workbook to track  my S.M.A.R.T. goals.)

Have you ever used a guide word for your year? How’d that work out for you?