by Nettie Owens of Sappari Solutions
The holidays are past, the last of the gift wrapping paper just went out with the recycling this morning and you are feeling the effects of too much egg nog, fruit cake and Uncle Jim’s stuffing. Today is the day you resolve to make a change in your life. It’s a new year. What better time to reflect on the past and move forward with a plan?
According to a survey conducted by ISI Translation Services in November 2010, 66% of the people polled do not make New Year’s Resolutions. However, goal setting has been proven to increase your ability to succeed at whatever you set out to do, dramatically. Goal setting is so important that books, studies, and degrees have been dedicated to the study of setting goals. Setting good goals is great, but even just setting goals is important. “One study tracked the success of resolvers and nonresolvers, and found that the people who set New Year’s resolutions had a 46 percent success rate with their goals after six months, while those who set no goals had only a 4 percent success rate!”  That is a profound difference.
What is a goal? A goal is the end toward which effort is directed.  Goals have many qualities. They can be short term, long term, overarching, financial, personal, physical, or spiritual. Follow the steps below to create three goals to guide your life this year.
Your goals should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time Sensitive. Take this example of a SMART goal: read Oprah Winfrey’s book club book by the end of the month. It is specific: you are to read Oprah’s book club book. It is measurable: you can track your progress of reading the book as you go along. It is attainable: if you have 30 days, this is probably an attainable goal, but being attainable is an individual value. It is realistic: again this is an individual value; however your goals should be challenging and motivational. Setting low goals decreases the value in achieving those goals. Lastly it is time sensitive: you have one month to read the book.
Beware of setting goals such as: Lose weight or earn more money. These goals lack specificity, measurability, or timeliness. Better examples would be: lose five pounds in 30 days or increase income by 10% this year. You may then take your goals and break down the steps needed to complete them.
Lastly, write down your goals and share them with others. Each of these steps will motivate you and increase your success rate. Make 2013 the year you not only set New Year’s Resolutions, but also achieve them.
 Greenberg, Ken. Yahoo! Finance. “The Mind Matters – Americans Who Make New Year’s Resolutions Choose Academic Pursuits over Adventure and Arts, According to New Survey from ISI Translation Services“ December 9, 2010. http://finance.yahoo.com/news/The-Mind-Matters-Americans-bw-1921043108.html?x=0&.v=1. (accessed 12/10/2010)
 Miller, Caroline Adams and Dr. Michael B. Frisch. Creating Your Best Life. New York: Sterling, 2009. 50.
 Merriam Webster. “Goal”. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/goal. (accessed 12/10/10)
© 2013 Nettie Owens, Sappari Solutions. All Rights Reserved.
Nettie Owens is a professional organizer and owner of Sappari Solutions serving Harford & Cecil Counties. Since 2004, Sappari Solutions has provided residential and small business clients organizational solutions that fit their lifestyle, budget and schedule. Sappari Solutions is highly committed to protecting the environment and to sustainable business practices.