Turning Over a New Leaf

Happy New Year! It's that time again: time for change and renewal. It's when we make resolutions for this new year. And it can be a lot of pressure and guilt as resolutions often begin with the best intentions, but sometimes slip away from us before January is even over, resulting in guilt and perhaps fear. So let's think of it differently this year and turn over a new leaf in a new way. Think instead of goal-setting. What is one goal you'd like to accomplish this year? As we reflect on our goal, let's look at what makes good goal-setting.

Goals can be both long term and short term. We set small short term goals in order to reach our longer term goal. Taking a trip is an example of a long term goal and putting money away from each paycheck to pay for that trip can be the short term goal. Our lives are made up of many little goals that move us towards larger goals. This is what motivates us to create and achieve.

There's a great acronym that helps us think about good goal-setting: SMART. For us to achieve our goal it must be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. The more specific our goal, the easier it is to measure progress and attain it. Ask yourself if your goal is realistic and doable within the time frame you have set.

What I also like about goal-setting is that we are never alone in achieving our goals. It may start by the commitment of ourselves to our goal by telling someone else. At New Year's brunch around my dinner table, everyone took a moment to share their goal for 2011. Telling others about our goal makes it real and helps us to commit to it. Then there is mobilizing resources to achieve our goal. And that is where we need the help of other people in terms of time, energy, resources and support in order to reach our goal.

What SMART goals have you set as you turn over a new leaf for 2011?


  1. Happy New Year, Kelly!
    This is a great post as a lot of us are trying to attain some goals in 2011. I do believe in setting short-term goals and doable ones. I also believe in sharing them so they can become real. I only decided to concentrate in four short-term goals because I don't want to be disappointed in the end. May all your goals be attained this year!

  2. "Change and renewal" - I like that description of the New Year much better than the general focus on goals and resolutions. I don't generally have specific resolutions, so much as a refocusing of priorities. "SMART" is a great acronym for that.

  3. Thanks Claudia. Yes, doable is key. And may you attain all your goals for this year too.

    K.M., I like the notion of refocusing of priorities because the focus is what gets lost, not the goal. Thank you for that insight.


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