Making Smart Goals in 2013

January 11, 2013

setting-goals-2013-new-years-resolutions-dale-carnegie-alabamaWe’re now into the second week of 2013.  Do you have any New Year’s Resolutions?  Some people don’t believe in setting resolutions to start off the New Year, because it seems like people never keep their resolutions.  They become more like “wishes” or things that people want to change in their life, but never actually end up changing.

There are a few reasons why people seem to break their New Year’s Resolutions.  Here are some tips on how to make some smart goals in 2013 (and beyond).

Tip #1: Write Down Your Goals.  There have been studies on goal-setting and people that actually achieve their goals versus people who don’t and there’s a consistency amongst those that do achieve their goals.  Those that wrote their goals down and found a way to see, revisit and remind themselves of their goal in some shape or form—whether through words, pictures, symbols, etc.—were far more successful than those who did not.  So, think about your goals and then write them down. You’re already well on your way.

Tip #2: Set SMART Goals.  Not to say that there are “stupid” goals, but there’s an acronym that stands for goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely.  Here’s some further discussion on setting SMART goals.

Specific.  Your goals should be specific and the more that you define what you want to achieve, the better you can figure out what it is that you need to do to accomplish your goals. The goal should tell who is involved, why it is important (Example: “My goal is to be skinny.”  versus “My goal is to lose 25lbs to feel better about my body and to help lower my cholesterol.”)

Measurable. Your goal should have a result that is measurable, so that you have a way to determine whether you are reaching your goal and how far you are reaching your goal.  (Example: “My goal is to be lose weight.” versus “My goal is to lose 25lbs.”)

Attainable. Your goal should be realistic and attainable within the scope of your skills, abilities and resources to achieve such a goal.  (Example: A 40-year old setting a goal to become an NBA basketball player would not be a very realistic or attainable goal, since the chances of the NBA recruiting a player at that age are slim to none.)

Relevant. This aspect of goal-setting has to do with making sure that the goal has relevance and importance to the goal setter to work and reach his or her intended goals.

Timely. Your goal should have a time frame for completion, whether it is a goal you are setting to accomplish by the end of the year or with a specific date in mind.  This also helps with holding yourself accountable to your goals and gauging where you are with respect to attaining your goal.

Tip #3: Get Some Accountability.  Whether you want some direct butt-kicking with a friend, coworker or family member to hold you accountable and be on you to achieve your goals, or you simply want to share with someone about your goals and get the support you need, having someone to answer to or report in with about how you’re doing towards achieving your goal is a great way to cross the finish line.  As a society, we have a desire to meet other peoples’ expectations of us and we don’t like to displease.  This desire to meet the approval of others is something that typically gets us to get up and get moving towards the things we set out to do.

Tip #4: Don’t Be Afraid of Failure.  Too often we fear failure and that’s a major cause for procrastination and ironically, our own failure.  We give up on something before we even try because we don’t want to disappoint ourselves or others.  The only time we fail is when we give up.  Not to say that there aren’t some goals that may be worth re-evaluation and some adjustment.  Just don’t give up, because that’s the only time we truly fail.

And with that, we leave you with these wise words from Dale Carnegie himself.  “Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.”

Let’s make 2013 the best year ever for accomplishing goals!

This post is brought to you by the good folks at Dale Carnegie Alabama.  We would love to connect with you on Facebook.

Photo Credit: KROMKRATHOG via

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