A New Resolution

Resolutions – well, ’tis the season, I guess. Have you made yours? What sort of resolutions have you made this year? Have you decided to exercise more  or maybe loose a few pounds? Both of those are extremely important and worthy of a resolution. What about vowing to quit smoking? That one is important for sure, especially if you have children. All of these are great ideas for a personal resolution, but what about professionally? Have you given any thought to that?

I’m not talking about resolving to get to work on time more or even to get there ten minutes earlier each day. Yes, these are also important especially if you are consistently late. No, I’m talking about things less tangible and outside of the boundaries of a SMART goal. I actually like the word goal better than resolution, but given the season, I’ll stick with resolution. Try these on:

  • Resolve to be more AGREEABLE. Are you a little “chippy” at the office? Do people find you hard to work with? If you can’t answer those, ask yourself if you find yourself getting into heated discussions often or find yourself getting defensive more than just once in a while. Make yourself easier to get along with. No, that doesn’t mean become a doormat.
  • Resolve to be more ACCOUNTABLE. Yep, I went there. I understand the word accountable can create an unnatural fear in the hearts of many strong people. Think about it though. Accountability isn’t about taking the blame all the time. What I’m talking about is personal accountability. Only you can make sure you are consistently taking care of your own business. When you miss the mark, and you will, take responsibility and watch the trust points start to add up.
  •  Resolve to be a LEADER. Sorry, they don’t all start with “A” even though that would have been cool. You don’t have to be in a “leadership” position to lead. Even if you are “only” a clerk in a mailroom, you can lead. I once had a coworker tell me that we could lead from the bottom. That struck a chord within me and sparked a fire deep inside that cannot be put out. Don’t let your current position make you think you can’t lead…..YOU CAN. So many great things can and will happen when you start to act like a leader. It is time to step up your game.
  • Resolve to be SMARTER. Keep yourself informed and up-to-date. What are the current trends in your field? Chances are you can attend many webinars for free or cheap. A good resource I have found is Twitter. Though much of what you will find are links to blogs like this one, there are some really great articles out there.
For myself, I am going to do all of these things and probably more. I’m going to use the “One Word” approach that many are talking about. My word is CONNECT. I will work on better connecting with my team; myself; my wife and children; and most importantly, with God. That one word encompasses everything I want to work on. I can focus on that one word and use it as my motivation. All I have to do is ask myself of what I’m doing is helping me to better connect.
 
I understand I have violated the rules of setting SMART goals, but these goals, or resolutions, are realistic and might even be considered smart after all.
 
What are you focusing on this year? I’d love to know. Please comment below and may 2014 be your best year yet!

Goal Setting: 2012

Every year after January 1st, articles pop up on setting goals. Some call it making a new year’s resolution. Whatever you call it, it really is setting goals. This year, of course, is no different. Up until now, I have personally resisted the urges to set out to create a goal or resolution that I won’t stick to. Then, I realized perhaps this is a toxic attitude to have. I asked myself recently what I’ve accomplished by not just setting the bar low, but not setting it at all. Well, the answer is quite simple . . . hardly anything. It is time I stepped up to the plate and set some goals for myself – and you should too! Here are my thoughts:

I look at my goal setting as I would my employees:

  • Relevant
  • Attainable
  • Measurable
  • Controllable (this one is big)

This gets a way from the typical “S.M.A.R.T.” goal setting principles (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely) just a bit but has the same basic principle without the cool acronym. I want to make sure that every goal I set follows these four principles, not only for me, but for my employees for the upcoming year. What do they mean?

Relevant: From a managerial standpoint it must fit with the over-all goals of the department, division, and company as a whole. From a personal standpoint, it has to be pertinent to what I’m doing or what I want to accomplish. “Make a one foot diameter rubber-band ball” is not relevant to other, somewhat life altering, goals that I may have, unless I’m shooting for a personal record.

Attainable: Is this goal something that can actually be done in the timeframe given? “Become a rocket scientist” is not an attainable goal for most people in one year’s time. “Learn Java”, however, is.

Measurable: One thing you have to keep in mind is whether or not you can actually track your progress on accomplishing the goal.

Controllable: This is one I’ve heard a lot about lately in setting up tasks for me and my employees alike. I look at my goal and determine if it is something that can be controlled. For example, “get 100 followers” is not something I can control. Sure, I can try to analyze the topics that get more hits than others, but in the end, you have control over that better than I do.

All in all, goal setting really is a big deal, unless you do not want to accomplish anything. It sets the tone for your year and gives you something to work for. If you fail, try again. Be sure to challenge yourself so you can grow.

I hope your new year is happy an prosperous. Happy goal setting!!