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SMART Goals for Your Best Year Ever

How to set realistic goals to have a great 2012.

So the new year has begun and most everyone is back to school or back to work. While on holiday break perhaps you had a resolution or two pop into your head. Or a thought about something you’d like to accomplish in 2012. But you’re already back to the grind and not really sure if you’ll really make your resolutions and goals come true.

Here are a few tips to help you make your resolutions a reality, to achieve your goals, and to make 2012 your best year ever. Everybody needs some coaching, even the highest level professional athletes and top level executives, so here is some coaching for you on how to achieve your goals.

Whatever it is that you’d like to accomplish in 2012, use the acronym SMART to help you shape and define your goals.

S—Specific—Goals should be written out in very specific terms. For example, instead of saying, “I want to lose weight this year” or “I want to read more this year,” one should say, “I will lose 20 pounds this year,” or “I will read one book per month this year.” By having a specific target we know exactly what to aim at.

M—Measurable—When setting a goal, how will you measure your progress? If weight loss is the goal, the obvious way to measure is with a scale. But some goals are more complex—like healing relationships or growing spiritually. Determine in advance how you will know you are accomplishing your goal.

A—Attainable—It is really great to dream big and to stretch oneself, but it is important to set goals that are realistic and attainable. Is it realistic for you to lose 20 pounds a month or to earn $10 million in 2012? Setting unattainable goals really does more harm than good. Dream big, but keep it real!

R—Relevant—Ask the question of whether the goal is really relevant in your life. Say I set a goal to ride a motorcycle across the country this year. While this would be a fun and memorable experience, the amount of time and energy it would take is not relevant or worthwhile at this stage of my life. Make sure your goals are relevant to your life, your family, and your career.

T—Timely—It has been said that a goal is a dream with a deadline. A goal must have a specific time frame in which it will be achieved. People work better with deadlines—goals do, too. Set your deadline!Here is an example of a goal that meets all the SMART criteria:

“I will lose 10 pounds by March 1 through exercising more and limiting my daily calorie intake to 2,000 or less.”

You know what, I think I like that goal…I am going to make it happen. What’s your SMART goal for 2012? 

You can share your goals, or any other thoughts, at randy@randymoraitis.com or visit www.randymoraitis.com.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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