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Alternate Perceptions Magazine, November 2023

SMART Resolutions

by: Stan Prachniak, MBA

It’s that time of year again. The time that people everywhere begin thinking of making changes in their lives—the time of New Year’s Resolutions. Becoming a better version of one’s self is the main goal of a person who makes such resolutions. Some of the most common resolutions people make are to lose weight, get in shape, make more money, or get a new job. All of these are good goals to have, but they are lacking necessary details to make them truly effective.

In order for a true change to occur, a goal must have some sort of structure. More specifically, it should be a “SMART” goal—a goal that is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time oriented. If any of these characteristics of the goal are not defined, it becomes difficult to measure actual success. Let’s consider the goal of making more money for a moment. How could it be more specific? Well, one way is to put an actual dollar value on the goal. For example, the goal could be to make $5,000 more in the next year. This not only makes it specific, it also makes it measurable and time oriented. Any amount less than $5,000 more earned in the next year does not meet this specific goal. The next step is for the person to decide if this goal is attainable—is there a way to make it happen? Can they work extra hours or find a side hustle to supplement their income? If so, they must then decide if the goal is realistic. More specifically, will their employer allow them to pick up extra shifts or work additional hours? And, do they have the time to dedicate to a side hustle, if they choose to go that route? These are questions that the individual must consider when defining their goal(s). When deciding if a goal is realistic or attainable, it is a good idea to involve trusted friends or family members in the process. If it is determined that the goal is not realistic or attainable, then it will need to be adjusted accordingly. Of course, this is just a brief example of some of the details needed to create a SMART goal.

As this year comes to a close and you ponder what it is that you want to do with your life over the next year, remember to be as specific as you can when defining your resolution(s). You have the ability to decide what you do in each moment of your life. I wish you the best as you navigate the process of becoming what you determine to be a better version of yourself!

Freedom To Change offers a way for you to become the best version of yourself by encouraging you to set SMART goals that will guide you along your path in life. For more information on the Freedom To Change materials, visit www.freedom2change.org.

Sunday, March 03, 2024