As we start this New Year, we all want it to be a happy and prosperous one considering the past year wasnothing but ordinary. Which then begs the question: how do we have a happy New Year? Is there anything we can actively do to impact the kind of year we’ll have? Are there any philosophies that we can follow to achieve the happiness that we so desire? The key to having that type of a successful New Year is to reflect upon all your 2020 accomplishments and decide what new goals you want to set for this year, 2021. Henri Bergson said, “To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.” If you don’t have a plan or don’t put that plan in writing, it won’t happen. And for any plan to pique your interest, you must attach an emotional experience to it, develop a routine, and follow through.
The truth is, many people fail in life, not for lack of ability, brains, or even courage, but simply because they have never organized their ambitions around a goal. Simply wishing or talking about potential goals for 2021 is not enough. J.C. Penny said, “Give me a stock clerk with a goal, and I will give you a man who will make history. Give me a man without a goal, and I will give you a stock clerk.”
Why not think of a small goal you could set right now in your personal or professional life. And ensure that you follow the “S.M.A.R.T.” criteria for successful goal execution. The “S.M.A.R.T.” acronym means Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.
Specific: The objective needs to specify clearly defined expected results. If you can’t start immediately due to the nature of the goal, then at least set a start date.
Measurable: The objective should specify how to measure your success (i.e., provide a verifiable standard for evaluation). Whatever your goal is, make sure it includes things you can do and achieve. If not, it will be hard to track your progress and stay focused on your goal.
Achievable: The objective should be within your control and not overly dependent on outside factors. You should be rated only on the work for which you are responsible. Because if a goal is not realistically achievable for you, it won’t be long before it becomes too overwhelming and you just give up.
Relevant: The objective should have a direct and obvious link to your career, your manager’s objectives, the department’s goals, or to important organizational goals. It should be job-specific and focus on work important to the organization’s success. You can ensure this linkage by including a “source” in your objective.
Time-specific: The objective should specify a time frame associated with the project, development, or service. Definite time frames help clarify performance expectations and ensure your goals are accomplished in a timely manner. Time frames can be within a certain period of time or by a certain date. If you’re like me and get bored quickly and are easily distracted, you may have to adopt a guiding principle that says, “Finish each goal before you start a new one.” If not, you’ll end up with a lifetime’s accumulation of half-achieved goals. Hard work and perseverance pay off.
“Action without thought is empty. Thought without action is blind.” — Dr. Kwame Nkrumah
Moreover, it’s important to recognize that there are often so many things we need to juggle in life, and all of them seem to demand our attention. Yet, not all these elements are equally important; some of them are superfluous, and it wouldn’t really matter that much if we just didn’t get to them.
“The thing about goals is that living without them is a lot more fun in the short run. It seems to me, though, that the people who get things done, who lead, who grow, and who make an impact… those people have goals.” — Seth Godin
Veritably, goals draw out our sense of purpose and help us know where we are going. Hence, get help and rearrange your goals in order of priority. Connect with your own intuition and discover all those things you want deep down to enable you to set your goals with more intention and clarity. No matter what your intentions, there will be days and weeks when you don’t live up to your expectations. Just make sure you don’t neglect activities that bring you elation. As you work towards the change that you seek, remember that there is no limitation on what you can potentially achieve except for the limitation you choose to impose in your own imagination. The goals you decide to act on are never etched in stone, so don’t be afraid to revise them if you need to. With intentions, there’s no failure, only temporary setbacks, and opportunities to learn and grow.
“It is better to flunk striving to do something than succeed in doing nothing” ~ Phidelia Johnson
In the words of Albert Einstein, “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.” This is the best way we will have a truly happy and prosperous New Year! Now, resolve to find the opportunities hidden ineach day of the year.
Phidelia Johnson is a global Human Resources Practitioner with eighteen years of leadership success. With a focus on streamlining Human Resources administration, she’s well-equipped to find the right solution to a myriad of concerns. Her experience as a commercial business leader gives her a unique ability to advocate for both the employer and the employee.
In her down time, Phidelia is a master of her kitchen, creating wonderful dishes filled with passion and flavor. If she’s not cooking delicious food, she’s stretched out with a good book. She hopes to use her experience to help others, guide company leaders to best practices, and help build better professionals and stronger organizations.