It is day two of a brand-new year! Whether or not 2018 was all that you wanted it to be, it is now in the history books. Let’s look ahead to this new year and all that we want it to be.
Some of you set resolutions for this new year. I did not. I made commitments, commitments to myself. Lest you think this is just a word game, think of the difference in those words. Think of how many people fail to accomplish their resolutions; yes; me too. Years that I focused on resolutions, I failed to change what I needed to change to be successful with those resolutions. Yet years that I have focused on commitments, I have been more successful. But this post is not about me. It is about you, my readers.
What are your commitments for 2019? Don’t make too many, for you may become discouraged if you can’t keep them all. It is better to focus on a few commitments than scatter your energies in many different directions. I recommend the following three commitments.
The first commitment is to yourself. Who do you want to be at the end of this year? What will a better you look like? Be specific. I can answer this question for myself, and I have. But my answer isn’t as important for you as is your answer. Write it down and do so in the “SMART” format.
The “S” in the SMART format is “specific.” If saving money is a commitment, how much, and in what frequency? The “M” is measurable. If it can’t be measured, it is likely that you will not be able to track your progress. The “A” is attainable. This is similar to the next letter of the acronym, “R”, Realistic. But there is a difference. While something might be attainable, it might not necessarily be realistic. If you are a spender and your commitment to yourself is to save $1000 a month, this amount may be attainable, yet it likely isn’t realistic. The “T” in SMART is “Time Oriented.” In what time frequency will you accomplish your goals, or make your commitments? It is best that the time frame not be so far off that it will be difficult to keep your commitments along the way, or you may get to the end of your year and find that you have run out of time! For example, it is best to have smaller incremental goals that lead to larger goals. If your financial goal is to save $5000 in 2019, saving $500 a month will help you achieve that better than not having more frequent incremental goals. And I realize the math in this example doesn’t add up, but the difference allows one to miss the mark some, and still accomplish the larger goal.
Now, the second commitment can be to one’s family. Perhaps you want to be more present with family in 2019, and one way you will accomplish this is by less screen time. Use the SMART acronym with this commitment.
A third commitment can be to friends, community, or others in your larger circle. Again, put this in the SMART format. Once you get in the habit of using the SMART format, you will find it much easier to accomplish what you want to accomplish, regardless of what terms you use to describe them.
May 2019 be all that you want it to be, and work for it to be!
Happy New Year!