Welcome to 2013! The new year is a time when many people make resolutions; promises to change or modify behaviors or actions to better their lives or situations. We all know the typical resolutions that people make: lose weight, quit smoking, eliminate stress, get organized, eat healthier, go to the gym, etc, etc, etc. Unfortunately, we also know that most people fail to carry out their resolutions throughout the year. Anyone who has ever made and broken a New Year’s Resolution can appreciate the difficulty of behavior change. Making a lasting change in behavior is rarely a simple process, and usually involves a substantial commitment of time, effort and emotion.
I prefer to use the word goal instead of resolution around this time of the year. I feel like word “Resolution” is saying out loud that we want/do not want to do whereas the word “Goal” implies that a certain amount of effort is required to achieve it. I think Gretchen Rubin, the author of The Happiness Project says it best when it comes to resolutions vs. goals.
“You hit a goal, you achieve a goal. You keep a resolution. I think that some objectives are better characterized as resolutions, others, as goals. “Run in a marathon” or “Become fluent in Spanish” is a good goal. It’s specific. It’s easy to tell when it has been achieved. Once you’ve done it, you’ve done it! “Eat more vegetables” or “Stop gossiping,” or “Exercise” is better cast as a resolution. You won’t wake up one morning and find that you’ve achieved it. It’s something that you have to resolve to do, every day, forever. You’ll never be done with it.”
Many people use the SMART system for formulating their goals.
Specific: A specific goal has a much greater chance of being accomplished than a general goal. Write down what you want to accomplish.
Measurable: Establish concrete criteria for measuring your progress toward attaining your goal. When you measure your progress, you stay on track, reach your target dates, and experience the exhilaration of achievement that spurs you on to continued effort required to reach your goal.
Attainable: Be sure to set goals that you can attain with some effort! Too difficult and you set yourself up for failure, but too low sends the message that you aren’t very capable. Set the bar high enough for a satisfying achievement!
Realistic: To be realistic, a goal must represent an objective toward which you are both willing and able to work. You have to be realistic for you and where you are in the moment. If you set a goal that you will lose 10lbs by the end of the month, but you’ve never set foot in a gym in your entire life, you’re not being very realistic!
Timely: Set a timeframe for the goal: for next week, in three months, in two years, etc. Putting an end point on your goal gives you a clear target to work towards. If you don’t set a time, the commitment is too vague. Without a time limit, there’s no urgency to start taking action now.
What goals or resolutions are you making for 2013? We here at Milestone Realty Consultants are formulating our own goals for 2013 and we look forward to helping you acheive your real estate goals!