This archived article was written by: Jordan Sanders
Vanilla ice-cream is to apple pie, as resolutions are to the New Year. Whether it be making a few less trips to the convenience store, starting a rigorous P90X program or trying to make better use of your time, a well planned goal–or resolution in this case–is a healthy and beneficial part in the life of successful people. This may be the case, but it’s no secret that many resolutions go unfinished. What makes the difference for those who complete their resolutions and those who do not?
Much of the success that comes to good goal setters, is just that…they set good goals that can be measured and achieved. The planning of a goal is just as crucial as the carrying out of that goal.
There is a common acronym in the business world that helps in the goal setting process, it is called a S.M.A.R.T. goal. The original acronym comes from George T. Doran, a successful businessman and former director of corporate planning for Washington Water Power Company. In it’s original form the different letters stood for specific, measurable, assignable, realistic, and time related.
Specific is in regards to making the goal something that is easy to understand and focuses on a certain thing that you desire to improve.
One person on campus who is proficient in this area of the goal making process is Fernando Alcántar director of student life, leadership, and involvement who said his resolution is “Putting LIFE in student life.” Life means different things to different people, so he is getting as many different definitions as he can and is using a quadrilateral to bring those definitions to life. His quadrilateral includes using the different departments on campus to change events, facilities, traditions and athletics to fit the definitions he receives from the students.
Measurable stands for the ability to indicate progress in the goal you make. It is easy to get discouraged if you can’t measure progress and see that you are actually going somewhere…therefore, measurability is important.
Assignable in the original acronym used to determine who would carry out the objective. In this case, we are talking about resolutions, therefore these are personal goals. It’s a good idea to make resolutions that we can actually own. If we make goals that we don’t actually care about or want to achieve, we will never accomplish those goals. So, own your resolutions.
Realistic is a pretty self explanatory part of a S.M.A.R.T. goal. Don’t make goals that are so extraordinary or extreme that they are impossible to achieve. Set goals that will stretch you, but are still within grasp. For example, Brighton Ketts, an ambassador from USU Eastern, has the goal to attend all of her classes on time and be more punctual and dependable this semester. This is a goal that is achievable, but is causing her to change some of her actions compared to the previous semester.
Finally, the last section is time related. In basic terms, set goals that have a time frame and deadline. This makes the measurable part more achievable as well.
Emily Williams, the vice president of activities at USU Eastern, has the resolution this year to use a daily planner to schedule all of the events of her day. This is an excellent way to make timely objectives because it puts them on paper and sets a time when you need to be in certain places and accomplish certain tasks.
Goals shape life into something incredible rather than normal, and S.M.A.R.T. goals are a good way to make sure that those goals are effective and achievable. Also, just as Terry Johnson, advisor of USU Eastern’s SUN Center, says “Just because it’s Jan. 1, doesn’t mean I have to make a goal…goals should be a part of the way we live every day of our lives.” Truly, as one becomes more proficient at goal making, it becomes a part of their nature and their lives and the lives of others are sculpted into something better. So be resolute at making resolutions, and be S.M.A.R.T. about it.