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Entering the New Year with Clothes On

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI can be a bit obsessive about goal setting. I feel as though I have no clothes on if I’ve no goals and I’m not working towards something in my life. It’s why, during the Christmas season, I always sit down and set some “New Year’s resolutions”, things I want to accomplish in the next year. This is important because, once I have goals set and have a plan to make them a reality, I feel better about the clothing I’m wearing entering the New Year.

So, as I’ve been working on my 2013 goals, I’ve mulled over what I’ve learned over the years about goal setting (most of which I’ve learned the hard way) and thought you might find my lessons helpful.

First, set goals that will lead to big changes. Don’t set goals for regular, routine or mundane things. This leads to the next point…

Decide the areas of your life that you need or want the biggest change to occur and only set goals in those areas.

Third, and I know you’ve heard this before but it really works, use the “SMART” method of goal setting, meaning all goals should be Specific-Measurable-Attainable-Realistic-Timely.

Fourth, beware of the trap of being too optimistic about what you can accomplish in a year. Set only 3 to 5 goals, remembering that the closer to 3 goals you can be the better.

Finally, if you have goals that may extend beyond a year, break them up into steps and make the first step your first annual goal.

When I follow these lessons I also get to spend some of my time over the Christmas season looking back at what I’ve been able to accomplish in the year that’s now ending.

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