Monday, January 3, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

Welcome to 2011 everyone!

For the last week or so the world wide web has been inundated with articles titled to some effect, “How to make 2011 be your best year ever.” When I read something like this, I just think this is too much pressure for one year. I’m not saying to not be optimistic about 2011. What I am trying to say, is that people start the year making unrealistic goals. If I learned anything while studying for my MBA, it was to make realistic goals, SMART goals. SMART is an acronym. Let me break it down for you:

Time Based

When making goals you should be as specific as possible, there should be a way to measure the goal, someone should hold you accountable, the goal should be realistic and there should be a set time line. Here is an example of goal I think is more than doable and you are more than welcome to make it your own. In 2011 I am going to improve my health by eating and exercising on a regular basis.

Specific - I will be disciplined with what I eat. I am going to cut out sugar and white flour. I will allow myself two cheat days per week. For exercise, I will walk two miles five days per week, participate in a yoga or pilates class twice per week and I will do weight lifting twice per week.
Measurable - I will weigh myself and take body measurements once per week.
Accountable - I will have a work out buddy and/or have a friend that I can check in with twice per week.
Realistic - I have checked with my doctor/nurse/dietitian/personal trainer to ensure that I am eating healthily and I am pushing myself but not to exhaustion.
Time based - By June 1st I would like to lose (Example: 15 pounds) and have the following measurements, (Example: 36-26-36).

Here is an example of a non well thought out goal that more often than not will fail:
In 2011 I will lose 20 pounds.

The reason behind this is, how do you really keep track of this goal? How are you going to obtain this goal? When will you obtain this goal? What are you going to do to obtain this goal?

I use SMART goals everyday, not just for business or my health and fitness goals but for my personal goals as well.
My 2011 New Year's resolution is to live in the moment and not dwell on the past.

Specific - I will face fears by addressing them head on. Say ‘Yes’ when a new opportunity knocks on my door. I will continue to meditate everyday. When thinking of the past I will follow the Eat.Pray.Love meditation mantra of, “Send love and light and move on.”
Measurable - While meditating just to be. I could write down how often the past comes into play but that would be dwelling on the past now wouldn’t it? I will just send love and light and move on.
Accountable - I will hold myself accountable for my own well-being. I am my own General.
Realistic - This is something easy enough to do but hard enough that there is fear attached.
Time Based - This is a life time effort. Every week I access my burdens and how they are floating away from me.

The above is a picture of a Lotus Flower. This is my favorite symbol. The Lotus Flower grows in the deep mud, far away from the sun. But, sooner or later, the Lotus reaches the light becoming the most beautiful flower ever. For those of you that were in the mud last year, I hope this year you grow towards the sun.

I have a tattoo of a lotus flower, it's my favorite possession.

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