New Years Goals

Smart GoalsWe’re well into January of our new year. How are you doing with your goals/resolutions?

Many people set new years resolutions. Many set new years goals. Many do a combo of the two. Many do none.

It’s great to have goals, aspirations and dreams. The challenge we face is just as my life coach trainer posted on her blog: “Can you be guided by your feelings?” We get all emotional about it.

In order to be successful in life we must be realistic. Have you ever gone somewhere with anticipation and high expectations then were let down because it all turned out less than what you expected? I have!

Our lives are the same way. We get an idea for something. We get excited and anticipate its outcome. We do one of these things:

  • Mentally picture it at the finish without any goals or effort to get it done.
  • Set goals to accomplish our idea without any forethought to get it done.

What’s wrong with these things?

“Good intentions don’t really matter if they don’t lead to good actions.” -Ash Sweeney

Being emotional and allowing our feelings to drive us is a disaster waiting to happen. So, what do we do you ask? This is what you do:

Setup S.M.A.R.T. Goals

Specific (and strategic):  Linked to position summary, departmental goals/mission, and/or overall School of Medicine goals and strategic plans. Be as specific as you can.  Answers the question—Who? and What?

Measurable:  The success toward meeting the goal can be measured.  Answers the question—How?

Attainable:  Goals are realistic and can be achieved in a specific amount of time and are reasonable.

Relevant (results oriented):  The goals are aligned with current tasks and projects and focus in one defined area; include the expected result.

Time framed:  Goals have a clearly defined time-frame including a target or deadline date.


Not a SMART goal:
Author will improve their writing skills.
Does not identify a measurement or time frame, nor identify why the improvement is needed or how it will be used.

SMART goal:
The Department has identified a goal to improve communications with administrative staff by implementing an internal departmental newsletter.  Sally will complete a business writing course by January 2015 and will publish the first monthly newsletter by March 2015.  Sally will gather input and/or articles from others in the department and draft the newsletter for supervisor review, and when approved by supervisor, distribute the newsletter to staff by the 10th of each month.

It’s common to miss the intended target date. There’s nothing wrong with this as long as there’s action. Extend the date to fit the need. Just do not give up.

This is usually where emotions and feelings take over. We begin to feel down and upset that we’ve missed our deadline date. Don’t allow this to happen. Keep plugging away at it. Leaving your emotions on the sideline allows for you to make progress. It’s important to resolve within yourself that your negative inner voice will not take over. Set in place a series of positive affirmations that you can refer to when you begin to get down.

“Successful people in life or business push through their feelings and in some cases ignore them! They step out and do things despite how they feel.” –

It is important not to be so hard on yourself if you make a mistake.

Mistakes are just practice while you become proficient. Kimberly A Edwards
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Live audaciously! Be bold. Check your feelings/emotions at the door. Step into a new life with this new year.