Achieve More with WHYSMART Goals Instead of New Year’s Resolutions

/ˌrezəˈlo͞oSH(ə)n/ noun

  1. a firm decision to do or not to do something.

It’s that time again when people make New Years resolutions.

After what 2020 gave us, many small business owners will be wanting a restart with 2021. And most people think making New Year’s resolutions is the way to do it.

The downside of a resolution is that it is only a decision. On it’s own, a decision is a single action. The steps that are taken next are what determines the results.

A firm focus to set your 2021 vision on something is a good start, and it will fizzle out by February 1st without a plan. And, they might not even be the right resolutions for you or stated in a way that will work for you.

What WHYSMART goals stands for

To make a resolution work, start by making it into a goal. Gail and I use the SMART goal method and add a WHY to it. There are other ways to set goals, and using WHYSMART will ensure that it fits all the criteria of a good goal for you.

To make your WHYSMART goal, start by getting Specific about the result.

My take on specific is that it is a goal that I can envision. If, for instance, my goal is to double my clients, then first I have to think about how many clients I have, then double that number. It’s almost, but not quite, specific.

If I have 10 clients today, then the specific goal is 20 clients. I can picture, in my mind, 20 clients.

If it’s money, picture a number in your bank account or yearly P&L statement and make that number your goal. 

Moving targets are also not specific. For instance, “meet more people” is an ongoing process, it’s not a specific goal. Set a specific goal like “meet 50 new people.”

Once you have a Specific goal, you can determine if it’s Measurable.

For example, “find a business partner” is not measurable. It’s actually not even specific unless you know exactly the steps needed to find a business partner.

Instead, I would set a goal like “interview 20 candidates to be my business partner”. You might accomplish the vision sooner, or you may find that none of the 20 are a good fit and so you do the goal again. If your specific goal is not measurable, consider what part of the goal is measurable and set that as your goal.

A Specific and Measurable goal is a great start. Is your goal Attainable for you? If it’s impossible to achieve, scale it back a bit, or set a different goal that will be attainable and support you in achieving this one in another goal period.

And, is the goal Realistic? Yes, you can triple your revenues in 2020, but will you have time to complete any of your other goals? Will you have time for your family and friends? Also, is it Relevant to your other business goals?

Finally, to be a goal, it must be Timebound, meaning that you set a date that it will start, and a date that it will complete. Your plans and actions will be derived from this.

The WHY part is where resolutions turn into resolve, or are cast aside before you wind up feeling disappointed for not having met yet another resolution.

If you’ve got a SMART goal, then it’s likely already Written. If not, write it down! An unwritten goal is a thought. Thoughts can change and are subject to distraction. Get it out of your head and onto paper.

Firm resolve comes from Harmony. Is your goal harmonious with your purpose, your values, and your way of living? If not, then drop it. If you aren’t sure, what would make it harmonious?

And, finally, is it Yours? Are you setting this goal for you, or is it to please someone else or because some consultant, guru or other person told you that it’s something you “should” set?

Start by saying to yourself “I want” and repeat the goal. If it doesn’t feel true, then it’s not yours.

Now you’ve got some WHYSMART goals. Creating a plan of action will be much more clear.

And, if you want accountability, support, and even some coaching on creating that plan and sticking to it, check out The Fast Action Guide to Planning the Best Year Ever.

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