Mark Armburst is a member of The Reporters Inc.’s Advisory Committee. For more information about him, click here.

Goal Setting in 2013:

Make Most Realistic, One ‘Big and Hairy'

January 2013

Less than a month into 2013, let’s get the bad news out of the way first:

• We went over the “cliff” but the landing wasn’t as hard as we thought it would be

• The economy is still stagnant, with growth predicted at a little more than 2 percent this year

• Our President and Congress can’t seem to agree on anything

• We live in a country where mass shootings occur once or twice a year, at least

• Our deficit is out of control and no one has the guts for making decisions to control it

• Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez have broken up

You get the idea–we’re flooded with negative news all day, every day (unless, of course, you’re a teenage girl who now thinks she stands a chance with The Biebs).

And there doesn’t seem to be any escape, right?

Wrong.

2013 is going to be a great year if you have the right mindset.

One of the goals of The Reporters Inc. this year is to present articles with information that you won’t see other places–the real truth, if you will. Well, the real truth about 2013 is that you truly have an opportunity to make it one of your best if you start now. Make your own situation better this year for you, your family and your profession.

Dictionary.com provides these two definitions of the word OPPORTUNITY:

• A situation or condition favorable for attainment of a goal.

• A good position, chance, or prospect, as for advancement or success.

What are your opportunities for success this year? We all define “success” differently. For some of us success might be learning a new language or skill, taking up a hobby, exercising more, getting in shape, losing weight, or reading more books. For others, success might involve taking a class on something interesting, spending more time with your family, traveling somewhere you always wanted to go, saving money, or making more money.

As a business owner, I challenge my employees to set goals in each area of the company using the acronym SMART*:

S – Specific Your goal has to be specific enough to mean something. Instead of “I will lose weight,” it should be “I will lose five pounds by March 1st”
M – Measurable A goal that can’t be measured can’t be tracked, and you won’t know when you have accomplished it. Losing five pounds is very easy to measure.
A – Attainable The goal has to be reasonable and attainable. Your goal can’t be to lose 100 pounds by March 1st because that isn’t possible (or healthy). Break larger goals down into smaller chunks to accomplish them. Losing five pounds by March 1st seems very attainable.
R – Result-Oriented Attach additional meaning to your goals by listing the end results. In our weight loss example, you can say: “I will lose five pounds by March 1st so that I will look better and have more energy.”
T – Time-based Always put a date in which to accomplish your goal so you work from deadlines. This will drive you to accomplish your goal on time. “March 1st is our deadline for losing five pounds” is very clear.
BHAG Also set a BHAG – really big – goal for yourself that will take you
Big Hairy Audacious longer to accomplish. In our weight loss example,
Goal** the BHAG goal could be: “I will lose 100lbs by Jan 1, 2014”. Your long-term goal can be broken down into shorter goals along the way.

So, as we hunker down into 2013, have a positive mindset and don’t let all the negativity each day steer you off course. Define what “success” means to you and be SMART about your 2013 goals, even choosing a BHAG. Pick something interesting and enjoyable–and do it.

Start now.  The opportunity is there for all of us.

 

Mark Armbrust can be reached at mark@skylineohio.com.

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