Setting your own SMART goal could make for a happy new year (and you don’t have to tell)

S.M.A.R.T  is a goal oriented strategy that has been around since the 1980s. I don’t know if it works for every activity but it does seem good for most.

SMART stands for:

S = specific. Don’t be vague and put down something like lose weight. Spell it out – for example go down a dress size by the end of February
M = measurable. So not read more books but something like a book a month.
A = attainable. Your goal should be something under your control. Better to aim at saving for a holiday rather than winning a round-the-world trip.
R = relevant. Choose a goal that has a direct impact on what you’d like to achieve. Be more creative?  Sign up for a short course.  Put more personality into your home – focus on something small that has instant impact. Search sites like pinterest for inspiration but make sure there’s a proper balance between online ‘research’ and actual doing-time.
T = timely. Make a number of short-term and long-term do-able plans. What can you achieve in six weeks time? Six months?

Me?  I’m not going to say because one of my sensible but un-SMART resolutions is not to talk in detail about the things I’m going to do, only about the things I’ve done. SHOW don’t TELL works for writing and I think it probably does for personal development as well. Anyway, I’m going to give it a go.

But one small resolution I’d like to keep is printing more photographs. We take more than ever before but most are buried in computer files and saved on phones. A well-taken photograph looks good on the wall and in the pages of a photobook…but so too do our snaps, the captured slices of life that remind us who we are and what is important. They should be seen, glanced at, allowed to catch us unawares and make us laugh out loud (or wince).

Happy New Year everyone. I wish you the clarity of bright winter days and the balm of soft rain. I wish you the mischief of spring and the warmth of lasting friendships. And most of all, I wish you adventures, big and small, at a gentle pace that will make you smile at the end of the year when you can say to yourself (you’re not a show-off) I did that…


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