It's already the middle of the first month of the new year. Have you spent it wisely by looking back on the past year and planning for improvements this year? Many people set new goals at the start of the new year – be they for the quarter, semester or the entire year. I also have this habit of setting yearly goals so as to improve myself and the quality of my life and that of my family. I set spiritual, emotional, health and financial goals for the year and I schedule quarterly reviews to check my progress. I do this after reviewing how well I have achieved my goals in the past year. In order for us to plan where to go next, we first need to know where we have been and where we are right now. Once we know where we want to go, we can plan how we’re going there.
Let me share some reminders for all of us about goal setting whether we have already set our goals for the year or we’re still planning to do so. Most of us have probably heard this before but it’s good to be reminded now at the start of the year so we can make sure that the goals we set are effective. So for our goals to be effective and to ensure our success in achieving them, let’s make sure that they are SMART.
Specific – We need to be as specific as possible. When our goals are clear to us, we can specify what we want to happen. That increases the possibility of us achieving our goals. What we can clearly see in our minds will most likely be translated into reality.
Measurable – We wouldn’t know if we have achieved something if we have no means of measuring it. We must find ways to measure, quantify or find indicators for our success in the goals that we set.
Attainable – One reason why we need to review our past experiences is for us to set realistic goals for the future. Setting goals that are too far off or those which are impossible for us to achieve will simply frustrate us. Looking at our past experience enables us to calibrate our goals such that they become attainable.
Relevant – Our goals will never move or excite us if they are not relevant to us. They must be something we need or strongly desire. Otherwise, they will remain in our minds or on paper.
Time-bound – We need to set deadlines or timeframes for our goals. Do we want to achieve this goal within the first quarter? Or is it something we plan to achieve by yearend? When are we going to measure our progress and decide whether we have been successful or not?
Having said all these, let me share some examples of SMART goals smart moms can aim to achieve this year.
1. Spend 20 minutes each day to read the Bible and meditate on the readings.
2. Go to confession once a month.
3. Go to church as a family every Sunday.
4. Attend at least one retreat or recollection within the year.
1. Read at least two books each day to your child.
2. Eat dinner as a family at least 4 times a week.
3. Go on family trips at least once a quarter.
4. Have a weekly dialogue with your spouse.
1. Drink 8 glasses of water each day.
2. Exercise 3 times a week – Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
3. Spend 30 minutes of “me time” each day.
4. Limit pork and beef consumption to once a week.
1. Earn at least P2,500 per month from part-time work or business.
2. Save P500 every pay day to start building your emergency fund.
3. Invest P5,000 every quarter in stocks.
4. Lower your electric bill by 10% by the end of the first quarter and maintain that level throughout the rest of the year.