Happy New Year! Have you made any resolutions yet?
I hope not.
“Resolutions” are generally vague, unspecific, and quickly broken. I know I haven’t been successful at keeping many of mine in years past.
So instead of resolutions, how about setting some goals – and SMART ones at that.
I’m not using the caps here to yell at you (never an effective motivational technique). SMART is an acronym representing the characteristics of an well-defined goal.
SMART goals are:
- Specific (What, exactly, am I going to do?)
- Measurable (How will I know when I’ve succeeded?)
- Attainable (Is what I want to do really possible?)
- Relevant (Is what I want to do really important?)
- Time-bound (How long will it take?)
Some of the items are related (part of the specificity might be the metrics by which you will measure success), but it’s a really useful mnemonic device.
How can you put this into practice?
A resolution might be, “This year, I’m going to update my CAD Standards Manual.”
But a SMART Goal would be: “By March 1st, I am going to rewrite the sections of the CAD Standards Manual that deal with layers, file storage, and annotation. I will put the revised PDF files on the server and in an icon in the AutoCAD LT interface for my colleagues. I will also create, print, and distribute a one-page handout with the main points of the standards as an desk reference.”
Don’t you agree that the goal will be easier to accomplish than the nebulous resolution? You have a deadline, measureable results, and specific tasks to get there.
Set goals, make plans, and stick to them. In my opinion, that’s better than a resolution any day.