Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a fun and healthy holiday season.
With every turn of the year is an opportunity to reflect on what worked and didn’t work the year before and to create some new goals. First, let’s discuss how to create goals. I am always surprised how most goals are vague – “lose weight” or “learn more about finances.” These are great goals. But they aren’t specific and not very measureable.
You may be familiar with SMART goals:
It’s a cute way to remember the criteria that make it more likely to achieve goals.
There is a Harvard Business School study that is often cited that may not be completely real, but serves to illustrate the point. The study asked graduates if they had written goals and if they had a plan to achieve their goals. The results:
- 84% of the entire class had set no goals at all
- 13% of the class had set written goals but had no concrete plans
- 3% of the class had both written goals and concrete plans
10 years later they found that the 13% of the class that had set written goals but had not created plans, were making twice as much money as the 84% of the class that had set no goals at all.
The 3% of the class that had both written goals and a plan, were making ten times as much as the rest of the 97% of the class. I also read somewhere that these 3% folk also routinely reassessed how they were doing.
So there you have it – you need specific & measurable goals in time, a plan and you need to reassess/monitor them from time to time. I use the Volt planner to keep me in check. It has checkboxes and reminders to reassess yearly, monthly, and weekly goals. I’ll admit I don’t always look at this planner and am still learning how to optimize using this planner in conjunction with google calendar on my phone.
So the above two goals reframed:
- “Lose weight” is now “I will lose 5 lbs by 2/1/18.” The plan: going to yoga classes 2x a week and running 2x a week.
- “Learn more about finances” is now “I will read The White Coat Investor book and The Millionaire Next Door by April 30, 2018.”
One can be even more specific but you get the point. There is something powerful in creating goals in time.
Stay tuned for my 2018 goals.