For most of us, New Year is a time to look back. Some get a little disappointed or even sad at how little they seem to have accomplished, but as this year is packing its bag, I wish for you that you will find the courage and confidence to turn each challenge into opportunity during the coming New Year. That is a prerequisite for success as genuine success comes only to those who are ready for it. So start dreaming of a new and better future, but don’t let it end as a dream. In the words of Sarah Ban Breathnach
"The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers. But above all, the world needs dreamers who do."
But beware, there is a huge difference between dreaming and having goals. Dreams are great, but they are only a product of your imagination. Not until you take action and turn your dream into a concrete goal, will it be more than a beautiful castle built in the air. Goals, on the other hand, are achievable because they are always followed by an action so if you have a great vision, but fail to take action, it will remain just a dream. What a shame. And what a waste.
What’s the best way of setting goals? This has been heavily debated, but in 1981 George T. Doran published an article introducing what he called S.M.A.R.T. goals. Today the acronym typically stands for
- Specific: target a specific area where you need to change
- Measurable: you must quantify or at least suggest an indicator of progress
- Achievable: stretch goals are good, but they must still be (almost) achievable
- Relevant: if completing a goal doesn’t lead you in the right direction then it’s the wrong goal
- Time-bound: without a concrete deadline you risk never achieving your goal
Make sure your goals are S.M.A.R.T. before you start thinking about action plans to achieve the goals. If not, it’s too easy to be led astray.
Wishing you a very happy and prosperous New Year 2016.