If you fail to plan, you plan to fail!

Your Weekly Motivation

The ending of one year and the beginning of another is usually a time of reflection and great anticipation for many. We reflect on the past year; our good times and bad times, successes and failures, and look forward with much optimism to a better New Year.

While it’s good to be optimistic and have great expectations and anticipations for the New Year, we must do our part to ensure that the things that we desire come to fruition.

Over the past years I made many New Year’s resolutions that I was not successful in achieving. I realize that I have no one to blame for that other than myself. Many of us make resolutions but we don’t put a plan in place to help us to achieve them. As the saying goes, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”

We must therefore put an action plan in place to help us achieve what we desire to. In putting an action plan in place there are three steps that should be followed:

1. Determine where you are now

2. Decide where you want to be

3. Design a strategy to achieve your target

Let’s use one of the more common New Year’s Resolutions as an example, weight loss. Many of us say we want to lose weight but do we have a plan? In following the three steps above, you must determine where you are now, how much you weigh; decide where you want to be, your target weight, how much you need to lose; and design a strategy to help you achieve that target. That strategy may involve changing your lifestyle by eating healthier or exercising a few times a week etc. You would need to speak to someone who specializes in health and nutrition or a personal trainer.

Along with having a plan, we must also set goals. Setting a goal is having something to aim for. Goals may be short term or long term. Whatever the overall vision is for your life, or that big dream that you desire to achieve, you may set goals, short term and long term, to help you achieve them. Short term may be what you would aim to accomplish within the next few weeks, months or year to get you closer to the dream or long term, what you would need to accomplish over the next year, two or five years to get you to that dream.

When setting goals, we must ensure that they are SMART goals. SMART Goal setting is a model that businesses use but it can also be used in setting goals for our personal lives. While there are a few variations online, SMART is generally said to be an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. So, in setting goals to help you achieve the things you wish to accomplish this year, make sure they are:

Specific - To be specific means to be precise or to the point. In setting goals we should be specific about what it is that we want to achieve. For example, instead of just saying you want to lose weight this year, be specific about the amount of weight you hope to lose.

Measurable - The goal should be something that can be measured, something that you can check or have some means of tracking your success. With the specific example of the weight, if your goal is to lose 30 pounds this year, that can be measured by periodically weighing yourself on a scale.

Attainable - The goal should be something that is possible to accomplish; achievable. In setting your goal be realistic about what it is you think you can achieve.

Relevant - The goal should be relevant to your job function, business or whatever it is that you are trying to achieve overall. So in keeping with the weight example, if your overall objective is to live a healthier life, then losing weight would be relevant to you achieving that.

Time-Bound - A deadline should be set for the accomplishment of the goal. Whether it be short term or long term, within the next three months, six months or year, set a date that you are working towards.

Please be reminded that the weight loss is just an example. The three steps in putting an action plan in place and setting SMART Goals, may be applied to any resolution you may have made or any dream you wish to achieve. It is also good to keep a journal with the action plan and goals. Write down the vision as it says in the book of Habakkuk chapter 2 and verse 2 in the Bible, and in writing your plan and goals to help you achieve that vision, you can also record your progress as you go.

As we look forward to a better

New Year, let’s all put a plan in place and work smart by setting SMART goals to help us achieve our desires for this year.

Happy New Year! Let’s make 2019 our best year yet!

• Questions or comments may be emailed to dapsbusserv@yahoo.com

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