I’m not a fan of New Year’s “resolutions.”
People often recite resolutions they think they “should have” because that’s what the internet says: save money, lose weight, get organized, spend time with family, read more, etc.
There is nothing wrong with these types of resolutions if they are in support of our values. But, unfortunately, “lose weight” is a nebulous resolution, and it’s hard to gauge success.
Therefore, I don’t focus on resolutions; I focus on goals.
I love goals. Specifically, I like goals created using the SMART goal process. SMART goals keep me on track, give me accountability, and push me to achieve the important things.
Changing the “lose weight” resolution to the SMART goal of “lose ten pounds by May 15th” gives a very definitive target to aim for.
Goal setting is stimulating for me. It makes me think about what I want my life to look like and how much time I am willing to devote to each facet of it. Setting fewer, more critical goals that support my Values sets me up for success.
Here are five of my 2022 SMART goals and how I performed using the structure:
1. Send 52 pieces of Snail Mail to family and friends.
With the exclusion of holiday cards, I sent 75 pieces of snail mail to family and friends, and they loved it!
I know how excited I am when I receive happy snail mail in my physical mailbox. I hope to share that joy by sending physical cards, primarily focusing on birthdays, anniversaries, and, when appropriate, “You are Awesome!” cards.
2. Make 12 whole blood or platelet donations.
I made 13 platelet donations, helping provide life-saving support to those in need.
I have O negative blood. One of the benefits of this blood type is that it is universally beneficial. Since I am healthy and have a flexible schedule, I can take the time to help others this way.
3. Send 52 pieces of Snail Mail to clients, individuals, and companies supporting my business.
With the exclusion of holiday cards, I sent 74 pieces of Snail Mail to business-related individuals.
The feedback I received was heart-warming. People like to be remembered on their special days. Individuals come to me in challenging situations, feeling down on themselves and needing to make hard choices. So, in addition to sending birthday acknowledgments, I will send notes of encouragement and congratulations.
4. Exercise six days a week for at least 30 minutes per exercise session and drink at least 70 ounces of water daily.
Although I didn’t do as well on this one as I’d like to report, I averaged exercising five days a week, and my water consumption increased dramatically.
The best gift we can give ourselves is the gift of good health. Am I ever going to be a professional athlete? No. Will I devote an hour every day to exercise? Again, no. But there are some things I can do to point myself in the right direction of maintaining good health.
5. Daily, record three things to be grateful for and one meaningful experience.
I’m happy to report that, with three days to go, I’ve journaled every day of 2022.
Journaling is a fantastic way to end the day, focusing on the positive things in my life. Studies show gratitude can help with health and well-being. I heard about the research. Intuitively, I knew it was true, yet, I never focused on gratitude. So, I started a gratitude journal on January 1st, 2020. I’ve not missed a day yet and can feel the power. Every night I focus on the following:
At least one thing to let go of (frustration, worry, concern, etc.).
At least three things to be grateful for (time with my family, my health, good friends, etc.)
One meaningful experience from the day (reminding myself what made the experience so powerful).
And I set an intention for the next day (presence, connection, gratitude, giving, etc.).
It takes less than five minutes, yet I end my day grateful and not stressed.
What made manifesting my SMART goals possible? Planning and setting my environment up for success.
- I track my personal and business snail mail success each week on a spreadsheet (I love spreadsheets!).
- I made platelet donation appointments weeks in advance to ensure the time was reserved on my calendar.
- I prioritized exercising in the morning. I didn’t schedule any commitments before 9:00 AM. Doing this ensures I have time for exercise before my busy workday starts.
- I set my journal on the nightstand to ensure it was available when I headed to bed.
Here are my 2023 goals. Some goals are a one-time accomplishment, some are ongoing, and many are repeats from last year as they support my values.
- Achieve the next level of coaching accomplishment through the International Coaching Federation.
- Repeat: Perform 12 platelet donations.
- Repeat: Send at least 52 pieces of Snail Mail to family and friends.
- Repeat: Send at least 52 pieces of business-related snail mail.
- Continue daily journaling.
- Continue my self-care by exercising five days per week, eating healthy, and drinking 70 ounces of water daily.
What are your goals for 2023? How do those goals align with your Values? What’s essential for you to connect with as we turn the page into the new year?
Cindy Jobs, PCAC, ACC
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