In my last post, we talked about reforming your New Year’s Resolutions, New Year’s Solutions, or goals into SMART goals – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely.  How are you doing with those goals?

Many of you are probably at a critical decision point right about now.  Experts tell us it takes about 30 days for a new or different action to become a habit.  Unfortunately, many us begin to lose focus on our new goals after 10-14 days.  So, this is a critical point in establishing those new habits or goals.

If you are having trouble staying on track towards your new habits, consider this.  At some point you will “fall off the wagon.”  It’s not a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when.’  You might have a bad day, be emotionally upset, be busy, etc. and eat that food you are trying to avoid, or skip the workout, or smoke that cigarette.

Now what??

Here is your critical decision point.  As I see it, you now have two choices.  One, you throw your hands in the air and exclaim “I can’t do this” or “This is too hard!” and abandon your goals.

Second, you can step back for a moment and tell yourself, “Well, that isn’t what I wanted to do.  This mistake isn’t taking me where I want to go.”  Further, review the situation where you strayed off track and try to figure out where things went sideways.

Then, remind yourself how important this life change is to yourself, and “get back on the wagon.”

Last time, I gave the example of wanting to post a blog on the 1st and 15th of the month.  If you check the date on this post, I’ve obviously missed that goal already.  So, I have a choice – abandon blogging altogether because I cannot keep to my desired schedule or get the blog out ASAP!  I decided to get back on track as soon as I could, and to hit my goal on the first of next month.

You can give up and quit on yourself, or you can gently remind yourself why what you are doing is important and restart down the new path you’ve chosen.

Your choice.

Are you looking forward to 2017?  Anything you’d like to change in your life? Whether you call them New Year’s Resolutions, New Year’s Solutions, or simply goals, many of us want to make changes in our lives.

A common goal making challenge is stating “I want to be a better parent, spouse, or partner” or “I want to lose weight,” without defining how you will know if you are making progress.  How do we define “better” parent, spouse, or partner?  If we lose one pound, have we been successful?

This year, try making SMART goals – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely goals. The SMART technique allows you to fine tune your goals into something more easily achievable.

For example, many people know I am new to social media and blogging.  Although I have written many articles, book reviews, book chapters etc., over my career, blogging is much different.

So, if I want to be a “better blogger” in 2017, what does that mean?  Let’s reframe my goal to be a “better blogger” using the SMART technique.

S – Specific.  Decide specifically what/why/which I want to improve – being more consistent in blogging, increasing the frequency of blogs, maybe ask what I want to accomplish.  Let’s say I want to blog twice per month, averaging approximately 300 words per blog.

M – Measureable.  Ask how much, how many, how often.  Let’s say twice per month, preferably on the 1st and 15th (plus or minus one day).

A – Achievable.  Ask if I have the needed resources, time, skill, or background.

R – Realistic.  Determine if this goal is something I can realistically accomplish.  Is the goal too high or too low?  Envision Goldilocks and her too hot, too cold, and just right porridge.  What is just right or realistic for you?

T – Timely.  Set a time frame for this goal.  A realistic time frame might be that within four months I am habitually meeting this goal.

So, “I want to be a better blogger” becomes a SMART goal of “Within four months, I want to consistently publish a blog of approximately 300 words on the 1st and 15th of each month.”

This is just the barest of outlines for using SMART goals.  For more information, search for “smart goals” or “smart goal worksheets.”  Google lists over 27 million results.  For those of you who are more visual, specify you want to see images (over 4 million hits).

If you have questions or comments, please contact me at

Happy New Year!