How To Make 2017 A Better Year For You

It’s a new year, the fresh start everybody has been waiting for! If you’re anything like me, you’ve done quite some thinking on how to make this year actually different than 2016. Personally, I’m a big lover of New Year’s Resolutions. It’s generally always a good idea to write down your goals and what you want to achieve, and a new year seems like a good enough opportunity to do so. But actually doing something about what you wrote down is where this gets hard. Luckily, I’ve got just the method for you!

In my year as volunteer I’m doing lots of useful new stuff that I’m glad to share with you. As part of my course in mediation, I’ve learned the ‘SMART method’, which is just a really convenient acronym for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-related that helps you question if your goal is actually managable. Here’s an example to make things easier.

The resolution: Getting organized.

Now this is pretty general. Lots of people want to get more organized, but just saying or typing it out isn’t going to change anything. And here comes the SMART method into play:

We’ll ask ourselves this: Is this goal…

Specific?

Well, no. What exactly do we want to organize better? Let’s say I always forget every birthday and accidentally wait to the last minute to do stuff. My resolution could be to get a beautiful planner that I can actually see myself using and write all important dates and birthdays that I know of down. Then, I could set aside half an hour on sundays to plan my week ahead and write down specifically when I’ll get something done. Sounds more managable already, doesn’t it?

Measurable?

Well, it is now! I think what’s important is that if I forget my high school friend’s birthday who I like but have no real contact to anymore again, that’s no reason to feel like I’ve failed with the whole plan. Do I still plan my weeks and feel more on top of things than before? Goal achieved!

Achievable?

That’s something only you can say about yourself. I think I could manage to pull this off, though.

Realistic?

At this point I always wonder what the difference between realistic and achievable is in this case. I think somebody just didn’t want to call their cool new invention ‘The SMAT Method’.

Time-related?

Planning to do this weekly is one way to make this time-related,  but if you know you’re somebody who doesn’t like drastic changes very much you could also plan to have realised by February or similar.

And there we go. From ‘getting organised’ to ‘buying and setting up a planner by January 10th and starting to plan my week ahead on sundays by February’. I know, this doesn’t look as good on a poster or on a pinterest board, but if it helps you manage to actually get this through with, why not?

For my part, I hope I’m not being a hypocrite and actually get my New Year’s Resolutions through for this year. I hope you stick around to see if I do!

Do you have any New Year’s resolutions for 2017? Did this method help you, or were your plans already specific enough? Leave us a comment and let us know!

Kerstin

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