The New Year comes jingling in like a brand new coin, full of bright and shiny promises for the next 12 months ahead. We hop on the shiny promise bandwagon, filling our crisp new planner with New Year’s resolutions that range from getting rich to writing our memoir, from expanding spiritual and psychic awareness to spending more time playing with the dogs.
Then March rolls around and we realize we haven’t made an iota of progress on any single one of them. What the heck went wrong?
Why New Year’s resolutions fail
A whole handful of stuff can contribute to the failure of New Year’s resolutions, or any goal made any time of the year for that matter. The most common reasons goals fail is because they are often overly vague, unrealistic or have no set deadline that leaves them floating off in the distance
They can also be something we really don’t want to do, which makes it tough to get motivated and take any type of action in their overly vague and unrealistic direction. Even if we did want to move toward the goal’s completion, we may not be clear on what type of action to take.
That’s where those dandy SMART goals come in.
What are SMART goals?
The SMART goals acronym has been kicking around since 1981, and it’s been used successfully by everyone from school teachers at work to all types of folks in their personal lives who want to get rich, eat healthy and spend more time playing with their dogs.
For our purposes here, we’ll stick with SMART goals as defined by my life coaching training, with SMART standing for:
Let’s use the broad goal of expanding spiritual and psychic awareness. Leave it as a broad goal with no set direction, and it remains as an empty promise floating in the wind. But break it down into the SMART goal game plan, and you have an outline that shuttles you right into success.
One way to expand spiritual and psychic awareness is to learn how to read tarot cards. So you dust off the tarot card deck you bought two years ago but gave up on when you didn’t have a SMART goal plan, and get ready for a newly enthused round of action.
- Specific: I will learn enough about tarot cards to do effective readings for myself and others.
- Measurable: I will measure progress by enrolling in an online tarot course, ensuring I keep up with the course’s schedule of completing one lesson and its required homework per day.
- Attainable: I will schedule adequate time into each day or week to get through the course without falling behind.
- Relevant: Adding tarot readings to my toolbox provides additional avenues of self-exploration for myself and others while expanding my spiritual and psychic awareness.
- Time-Based: I will be able to perform a proficient tarot reading within one month.
Sound good? Good! Because this SMART goal has been in place for several weeks now, I am on the final three lessons of the tarot card course, and I have ALREADY started giving readings that have helped spur me forward toward even more success.
One more helpful hint
Before you rent a catering hall to celebrate, there’s one more thing that can help you stay on track with your chosen goals. It’s a round of questions that ensures you plan for any potential roadblocks that may stand in the way and, even more importantly, provides insight as to why you want to accomplish a particular goal in the first place.
The questions are:
- Why is this goal important to you?
- What benefits will you gain once you have accomplished this goal?
- Imagine for a moment that you have already achieved this goal. What will be different? How will you feel, look or act?
- Can you think of any potential roadblocks that might get in your way toward accomplishing this goal?
- What specific actions can you take to work around each roadblock?
The SMART goal plan doesn’t end here, either. You can keep adding SMART goals as part of your broad goals to continue to contribute to your broad goals for years and years to come.
Since the SMART goal plan works so wonderfully, it would be a shame to only use it once every 12 months. Feel free to set goals for yourself on an ongoing basis throughout the year so you can keep rolling along with ultimate success in every area of your life you desire.
Download the SMART Goals worksheet to set the stage for that success right now. Enjoy!