Many people across the world aim to start out the year with a positive mindset by setting goals and New Year’s Resolutions. It is also well-known that most people are not able to keep their resolutions long-term. News Nation recently did a feature about how long people generally keep their New Year’s Resolution. The consensus was 36 days. So, by February 6th, people have lost the will to continue. There are a few things that you can do, however, to not become one the defectors this year. Create successful new year’s resolutions in 2022: set SMART goals.
Many times, New Year’s Resolutions are the ideations of optimistic idealistic hopes for the new year. They are extreme and have no time frame. That is the antithesis of what a goal should be. To examine the qualities of a good goal, you can use the acrostic SMART. We will start with the “s.” Any goal you set for yourself should be specific. Saying “I want to be a better team leader” is not specific. Rephrasing that goal to “This year, I want to learn more about effective team building by reading books” gives you the focus and specificity you need to set a good goal.
While your goal of learning more about how to become a better team leader through reading is focused on a specific area of growth, your goal must also be measurable to be able to document the growth and progress of your goal. You will need to add something measurable to your goal. In the case of reading books, you can easily add a number to make it measurable. For the sake of simplicity, maybe you choose to set the measurable goal of reading 12 books about team building this year.
In your quest to read 12 books, you may realize that it might not be an easy task, since you have not picked up a book since high school or college. In that case, your goal is not yet attainable. Perhaps you might consider listening to audiobooks on the way to work using the free audiobook app available through your local library. Changing your goal in this way will keep it from being too lofty, so that it becomes attainable.
Any goal you set for yourself must be relevant. Relevancy helps you see the purpose of doing it even when you do not feel like it. It also keeps you from wasting your time setting goals that do not support your personal or business direction. For example, maybe your significant other wants you to read one Harry Potter book per month so that you can finally share in their undying fandom to the series. Although this would be beneficial as far as your relationship is concerned, it would not be relevant for your growth in the area of becoming a better team leader.
All SMART goals must be timely. Goals need to have an end in sight. Goals without a time frame become unattainable due to the effect it has on your mindset. Not having an end in sight is very defeating and will not give you the resolve you need to meet your goal. In the case of a New Year’s Resolution, goals tend to be for one year. It is for this very reason that many people cannot keep their resolutions. It is too long of a time frame. You need to make a goal that has checkpoints along the way to make your goal timely.
In the case of your book reading goal, you have made a goal of reading 12 books by the end of the year. This goal can easily be given checkpoints by determining to read one book per month, which you can break down even further by dividing the number of pages by 4 to determine the number of pages you need to read per week. For a 125-page book that would be 31.25 pages per week. If you divide that by the 5 days you drive to work, that would be approximately 6.25 pages per day. But if you are listening to audiobooks, you will measure in hours. One hour of listening is equivalent to approximately 30-35 pages. So, approximately 12 minutes of listening during your work week.
So, now you have a goal that is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. You are focused on improving yourself as a team leader in the area of team building by reading. You chose 12 books as your number. You adjusted the way of accomplishing your goal by choosing to listen to audiobooks. You made sure this goal aligns with your other professional goals and your vision as a professional. You also set a time frame on it with built in checkpoints that break down the goal even more to be more manageable. You have set yourself up to having successful new year’s resolutions in 2022. Congratulations!