Wow, it’s been a full 6 months since my last blog post and well…in blogger years hat’s at least 10 years. The latter half of 2014 was full with travel, presentations, consults and end-of-year planning, which seemed to leave little time for writing. But this year WILL be different. That almost sounded like a resolution..and my clients and viewers know how I feel about those: January 1…a clean slate, an opportunity to start anew! All inspired about new beginnings, the first thing you do is make a list of New Year’s resolutions. Within two weeks, your inspiration begins to wane and you realise you’ve just gone against most of your resolutions and you beat yourself up because of it. So why do so many of us “fail” when it comes to our New Year’s resolutions?

While resolutions are really meaningful at the time we make them, what they lack is an action plan. Instead of making resolutions, why not set goals? SMART goals. What is a SMART goal you ask? SMART stands for: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely. Goals by themselves can end up much like a resolution—in one year and out the next. For a goal to become reality, you need to develop steps to make them happen and define a timeline to completion. By developing SMART goals you are creating an action plan to move forward, a road map to achieving what you really want to achieve. For example, you might make the resolution to “improve my cooking skills.” Yet without an action plan it’s likely you’ll be making the same resolution next year. Now let’s look at it as a SMART goal: “I will create one new healthy recipe each week for the month of February.” Here’s another example: resolution—exercise more; SMART goal—walk 30 minutes a day, three days per week (Mon, Wed, Fri).

So let me reframe my earlier statement about blogging more frequently: “I will begin the new year with 3 blog posts in the month of January.” And wow, one down already! How easy was that?!

Writing down your SMART goals will also make them more real and provides you with some accountability. It’ will also allow you to break the goal down into smaller, achievable action plans. Now that you know how to be “smart” with your new year’s goals, revamp those resolutions and share them with us!