New Years’ resolutions

28 01, 2019

Starting 2019 with S.M.A.R.T. goals

By |2019-01-23T08:02:36-06:00January 28th, 2019|Make Me Think Monday|0 Comments

It’s the end of January. By now, I’m guessing that one or more of your New Year’s resolutions has already failed. Statistics back me up. According to U.S. News approximately 80% of resolutions fail by the second week of February.

So why such poor odds for success? I’m guessing the reason for failure was vagueness.

Pablo Picasso said, “Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.

I agree with Picasso. I’ll show you why.

Let’s look at a couple of my New Year’s resolutions.

  1. Lose weight
  2. Exercise more

Great goals, but very hard to stick with because there’s no focus.

Enter SMART goals which are:

  • S -Specific (and Strategic)
  • M – Measurable
  • A – Attainable
  • R – Relevant (results oriented)
  • T – Time-framed

My New Year resolutions restated as SMART goals:

  1. Lose two pounds per month.
  2. Exercise at the pool three times a week.

See the difference when the goal is SMART?

There’s a target. A way to measure success.

Your goals or resolutions will be different from mine, or not. That’s understandable. BUT, are your goals for 2019 S.M.A.R.T.?

Whatever goals you’ve chosen, restating as SMART goals can help ensure success. A measurable goal underscores a tangible outcome.

Good luck. Me, I’m off to the gym I have two pounds to drop this week.

22 01, 2018

Resolutions ~ Yes or No?

By |2019-01-10T09:59:21-06:00January 22nd, 2018|Make Me Think Monday, Writer's Life|0 Comments

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?

5 01, 2016

How are your 2016 resolutions coming along?

By |2016-01-04T00:07:28-06:00January 5th, 2016|Make Me Think Monday|0 Comments

We’re four days into the New Year. If you’re like me, I suspect you’ve broken one or more of the resolutions you made for this year.

It happens. Good intentions slide, pushed aside by reality and unrealistic expectations.

What happens next is discouragement. Our mindset becomes I can’t and we set aside our goals. We give up.

That’s so sad and not the correct response, in my opinion. Let me tell you why I think that way.

Recently my youngest daughter shared her Elsie Joy’s goal tracker sheet from 2015 on Instagram. Every day my daughter had marked her goal progress on the tracking sheet. On December 31st she did the math and found she’d hit her goal 93.15% of the time. For someone who works full time in a high tech position that requires lots of travel, scrapbooks, blogs, and corrals three active teenagers and a special needs dog. That’s a remarkable result!

So why was my daughter so successful? I believe there are two reasons:
Big Things HappenFirst, she applied Elise Joy’s principle of “Big Things Happen One Day at a Time.”

Second, when she missed a day to bubble in one of her circles, she blew it off and let it go.

I’m big on accountability and goals. I’ve always set yearly goals and charted the methods I’d use to accomplish those goals. I blogged about my process here.

This year I’m adding a goal sheet like my daughter’s as a handy visual to chart my success. Seeing those circles bubbled will encourage.

goal sheetsLooking bare right now, but 2016 just started. Yes, you’ll also notice there are already days I’ve missed for one of my goals.

That’s okay. Tomorrow is a new day.

Btw, I get no kickback from Elsie Joy. I just happened to believe her chart is a great way to stay on target for our New Years’ resolutions. Check out her website for other goal setting tools.

Or, create your own chart design if you want. But most of all, I hope you forget about the broken resolutions and give those resolutions another try.

12 01, 2015

What’s ahead? What was behind?

By |2015-01-12T06:00:55-06:00January 12th, 2015|Holidays, Make Me Think Monday|0 Comments

January is the time for making resolutions for the New Year. Resolutions  never works for me. Too vague.New Year's Resolutions, list of items

If you read this blog regularly, you know I’m big on measurable goal setting and AARs.

However, if you are one of those who does make resolutions and need some hints and tips, check out this blog.

No resolutions for me this year, but I have done my yearly ARR– after action review – and posted my 2015 goals to my accountability group.

I was pleasantly surprised during my review to discover 2014 was a good goal year.

finishedAll the work on our house was completed. Landscaping changed the mountains of dirt from the remodel and addition to flower gardens and lovely walks. We ended the year with the hammers and saws stopped and the workers are all gone.

Goal success.

I managed two releases Claiming Annie’s Heart and When Love Blooms.    You can find both at all major on line book retailers for your e-readers or paperback.

2014 books

Unfortunately, my writing goal was to release three books.     Goal failure.

Yep! That’s the thing about goals. Sometimes we’re spot on. Sometimes we do all we can and fall short. Trouble is without goals we lack focus and too frequently flounder aimlessly.

We need to set goals then analyze why we fail AND why we succeed.

Not hard for me to know why my third book didn’t materialize. Last November I fell while playing Pickleball and broke my right wrist. Typing became, and still is, slow and sometimes painful.

I’m not beating myself up too much over the goal bust since what happened was a circumstance beyond my control. Well, mostly.

There are those who have aptly pointed out, trying to be athletic at this stage in my life maybe be a foolish goal and suggest I might want to eliminate such activity in the future instead of risking more injuries. I’ve taken the suggestion under consideration.

We’re twelve days into 2015. It’s cold, rainy, freezing in Texas. Colorado is sunny, bright, and snowless. Not the norm.Seems to me this is going to be a crazy year based on the start of things.

I’ve set my goals for the New Year and I’m going full speed ahead. What about you?

Let’s check back together this time next year and seem how we’ve done on our resolutions and goals.

7 01, 2013

To Resolve or Not to Resolve That is the Question

By |2023-01-07T20:34:12-06:00January 7th, 2013|Monday Motivations, Uncategorized, writer|5 Comments

Last week social media was all a buzz about New Year’s resolutions. Facebook status comments offered summaries of people’s 2012 and their goals for 2013. Blogs gave statistics from last year and offered predictions for the New Year.

How about you? Are you making resolutions?

New Year's Resolutions, list of items

I don’t do well with general resolutions like those pictured.

BUT I am a goal-setter. Goals help solidify intangibles into something tangible.

Consider this quote from Mario Andretti, “Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment to excellence – that will enable you to attain the success you seek.”

As a former teacher, goals (aka objectives) were an integral part of my world. I watched lesson plan objectives produce learning success for students. So transferring goal setting to my writing career was a logical, easy progression.

For me, goal setting provides the target, and I can analyze why I missed the bull’s eye and adjust as I move toward success.

Knowledge is power. When I know what works, I can do more of it. When I know what doesn’t work, I can do less of it.

Goals work for me.

If you’re not one to set goals or make New Year’s Resolutions, you’ll love Juliet Marillier’s New Year’s blog post where she shared nine gifts for a writer’s focus in 2013.

  1. The wind in your hair, the rain on your skin, the sun on your back, the richness of freshly turned soil underfoot. (If you live in a city apartment, plant up some pots with flowers or veggies. Go for regular walks in the park, and use your five senses to experience nature. If you have a garden, make compost. Get your hands dirty!)
  2. The joy of providing a forever home for a shelter animal. (Not all of you will be able to do this, but it’s a great way to nourish the soul. If you can’t take on a homeless animal, you could volunteer to walk shelter dogs, or help out at a refuge.)
  3. Social interaction and I don’t mean online! (Writers can easily get into the pattern of spending long hours alone, maintaining their social contacts mostly online. This is not great for your physical or mental health. Make an effort – go out to coffee with a friend once a week, join a book club, walk your dog at the park, meet like-minded people in the flesh.)
  4. Writing because you love it; loving what you write. (Because otherwise what’s the point?)
  5. Stretching yourself creatively. (Try a new genre; set yourself      challenges in voice, point of view, vocabulary, structure)
  6. Making a virtue of ‘down time.’ (Try meditation, walking, Tai Chi, swimming, playing with your children or animals)
  7. Learning that the best motivation for getting on with things – your work in progress, your diet/exercise plan – does not come from the note on the fridge, but from deep within you. Changing your mindset; doing the right things not because you ought to, but because you want to.
  8. Being generous with your time, even if you don’t have much of it to spare. (Read to an elderly person; help out at your kids’ school; fill hampers for the needy.)
  9. Breathing. (Step away from your screen regularly. Go outside, look at something beautiful and breathe slowly for a few minutes. You live in the real world; it is the source of your inspiration. Honour and respect it with all its flaws.)

I love her ideas for enriching our creativity. Wonderful words of wisdom. You can read the whole blog here.

But I still believe in goal setting.

As a writer, I see this New Year as a blank book. Remember my New Year’s Eve post? If not, read it here.

We can fill the pages of 2013 any way we want. A goal plan isn’t required, but it might help us succeed.

Next Monday, I’ll share my goal-setting process.

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