As 2017 is taking shelter in the twilight and dawn of 2018 is at the horizon, we may be planning a fun filled party for 31 December to welcome the New Year. Success-thirsty and well organised folk would have, by now, grabbed a “Planner for 2018” and started scribbling goals, wishes and targets for the year to come. Its high time to decide what we want to achieve in the next year. Success Gurus would suggest to write down goals in a diary or a planner and start working on them determinedly from the very first day of 2018.

Some people are schedule stickler but others avoid writing down their ‘To Do Lists’ and ‘Targets’. However, it’s proven that written ‘Targets’ and ‘To Do Lists’ are pursued more successfully than unwritten ideas. So, there is no harm in keeping a private diary and writing down our ’18 SMART Goals for 2018’.

Goals and Targets are motivational magnets that keep us working for achieving excellence in certain fields of our life. However, our life is becoming more and more lope-sided and work-life balance is missing. Procrastination, absence of focused efforts or lack of resources are hardly the reasons that keep us unhappy or unsatisfied anymore but actually over-focus on career, ambition to become rich, desire to have things better than others are some new elements that prevent us from getting satisfaction in life and resultantly spoil our work-life balance.

To have a fulfilled and successful life, it is said that, we must work on the four aspects simultaneously and independently. These four aspects are: Health, Career, Family and Entertainment. Health is a broader aspect which includes physical and mental well-being. Career involves not only our job or business but education, finance and progress. Family includes society and friends who we enjoy to interact with. Entertainment is mental, philosophical and spiritual aspect of life.

Therefore, the ’18 SMART Goals for 2018′ should be divided into the four categories: Health, Career, Family and Entertainment. Our goals should be directed in a manner that all the four aspects are taken care of. We do not want to leave any of these four pillars shorter, smaller or weaker. They have to be grown stronger and taller equitably. They may be as mundane as having at least two family dinners every weak or as high as climbing Mountain Everest.

Targeting these four areas, our goals should be set in SMART way. SMART stand for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound. Most of our goals remain only a Wishlist because we do not set them in SMART way.

Specific goals are those which can be identified easily and can be worked upon. Running three days a week is a specific goal but maintaining good health is not specific. Because we have not specified how to maintain good health. A trip to Paris or a weeklong trek in Himalayas, whatever suits to our personality, can be a goal.

Measurable goals give us target to achieve. Running three days a week is specific goal and we can make it measurable by deciding distance for running. It will enable us to measure our performance in terms of distance, speed and calories burnt. Hit the floor of gym at least twice in a week for 45 minutes session is a measurable goal.

Achievable means anything which is possible by putting up enough efforts. Bringing Sun to the earth is not achievable and so it cannot be a SMART goal. However, a target to run a marathon in six months is achievable if we are ready to do enough practice. So a goal should be achievable. Set a goal in reasonable limits, because unrealistically high targets bring disappointment.

Relevant to our four pillars of life, so the goal is in the direction of our major objective. It should not be completely irrelevant to the main purpose of our life, hence a person who wants to become an entrepreneur may not feel a goal to write poetry relevant. Irrelevant goals do not get our attachment for longer time.

Time-bound targets are useful to keep a track. We tend to lose momentum after an interval. Few days of constant efforts and then a long break – a common phenomenon for all of us. The goal should be made time bound so we avoid delays and procrastination. Ideally a goal should be divided in weekly schedules. Every goal should be broken down in weekly routines, so it does not remain unattended for more than a week. For example, if the target is to read 25 books in the year, it is best achievable if we keep it as one book every fortnight. This will show whether we succeeded or failed in a particular fortnight. Rather than waiting till the end of the year to measure our success, such small time blocks for each goal related activities encourage us to work regularly on them.

Applying this SMART criteria to our goals will help us achieve most of them during the year to come.

So let’s set our ’18 SMART Goals for 2018’.

Happy New Year

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