We’re half way through January and some of our New Year’s Resolutions have yet to see the light of 2012. We knew they were faux resolutions when we named them, but we did it anyway. It’s not that we didn’t want to do things differently this year, we just weren’t sure how.
We made the mistake of sharing our resolution during a familiar holiday dinner; the type when everyone around the table is forced to pour out their heart. And of course, after hearing so many others proclaim their new gospel, we quickly came up with something far-fetched and impersonal, like,“ This year I’m going to the gym every day.” Or worse, in a state of angst-slash-slight depression after four champagne toasts too many, we resolve to do something unattainable e.g. “hug 11 strangers a day.”
Or perhaps you skipped that holiday dinner and instead took time to reflect on a serious resolution like getting a new job. But alas, here we are half way through January and for some reason you haven’t started to update your resume and your resolution hasn’t kicked in quite like you planned.
FACT: Unless you determine otherwise, the New Year will signify nothing more than a quick flip in your calendar. It’s our actions that will urge us towards a new life not when the clock strikes midnight. Many of us find ourselves stuck in the past and subsequently the same year—every year—because we’ve yet to unpack what’s truly behind our desired New Year’s resolutions and determine the specific and necessary actions to bring them into fruition.
A few years ago I facilitated a workshop for young women focused on developing a personal mission statement and establishing S.M.A.R.T goals that drive one closer to their purpose. Within this workshop the women were inspired to create vision boards using a variety of arts and crafts, and later, taught how to backwards plan their way into their vision by using the S.M.A.R.T. goals framework. While I won’t be able to recreate that workshop within this space, I am encouraged to share an example of how that same framework could be used to help us establish meaningful New Year’s resolutions.
Let’s take the commonly shared resolution “Be More Healthy” and re-frame it with the S.M.A.R.T acronym.
Specific: Be more healthy is a huge statement! What does that really mean to you? Instead of immediately joining Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig because J.Hud or Mariah told you to, did you consider visiting your doctor for a personal consultation? The more specific and personal we are about our goals the more confident we feel in our ability to achieve them. Remember, your New Year’s Resolution is just that, yours! Resist the temptation to conform your resolution to that of your neighbor’s. If you must make a resolution, I encourage you to make it specific to you life’s purpose, and the things that will truly move you towards your longer term goals.
Ex: Work out 4x a week with a partner (specific)
Measurable: With a broad resolution like “Be More Healthy” it’s tough to know if one’s being successful with out defined measures of achievement. This measure of success can easily be identified when we add numerical or quantifiable values to our goals. Measures help us clearly see and assess our path to our goal. This part of goal setting is integral because if we can’t see the progression of our success, we will likely get discouraged when things get tough. It’s when we see our success that we keep focused and become even more inspired to keep going.
Ex: I will take a multivitamin at least 5 times a week (measurable)
Attainable: As you reflect on the first two aspects of S.M.A.R.T goal setting, you certainly don’t want to leave the ‘attainable’ piece out. If you set a specific, measurable but however, unreasonable goal – you’re setting your self up for inevitable failure. “I will lose 25 lbs in a week” is specific and measurable, but yet unattainable. Is your resolution something you can do in a healthy and safe way? Is your resolution something that you have control over? We should look at our goals as motivation and not distant milestones that we’ll never reach. If your resolutions depend solely on someone else’s actions I encourage you to reconsider that resolution’s purpose and attainability.
Ex: I will lose the 2lbs a week my doctor suggests (attainable)
Realistic: Similar to how we think about setting attainable goals, we should indeed set goals that are realistic. If french fries are your favorite food (and you eat them 4x a week), setting a goal to quit them cold turkey may not be realistic for you. Especially when you refuse to stop visiting the same restaurants where you would order fries in the past. Find the balance between setting a goal that will push you, but that’s always within your reach.
Ex: I will only have french fries once a week for the month of January. (realistic)
Timely: Set a time frame for your resolution or goal. Who said a New Year’s resolution had to last all year? Perhaps your resolution is only focused on the first quarter. Example: “In order to be more healthy, I will visit all of my primary doctors by April.” By setting this time-frame you’re increasing your sense of urgency to get things moving. If you don’t set a time frame, you’ll slowly lose your momentum and by June, you won’t remember what your resolution was in the first place.
By making our New Year’s resolutions S.M.A.R.T we’re no longer in a position to feel helpless come April, but instead, empowered by actions that will positively impact our lives. S.M.A.R.T is one of many frameworks created to improve productivity. If this doesn’t work for you see what else is out there and try it! Just don’t give up. Take some time to reflect on what’s most important to you in 2012, and start getting smart!
Also On HelloBeautiful:
100 Reasons Why I Can't Stop Looking At Blue Ivy
1. Mommy & Me
2. Blue. #May10 #NYC
3. Blue Ivy & Jay Z Sip Tea
Blue is surely the apple of Daddy's eye.
4. Blue Ivy & Beyonce Smell The Roses
Beyonce seems like the coolest mom.
5. Blue Ivy & Beyonce Soar The Big Skies
6. Blue Ivy & Mommy
7. Daddy & Me
Blue Ivy walks across mommy's at-home photoshoot, but it's the most adorable photobomb ever!
9. One Big Happy Family
The royal family, Bey, Jay & Blue are all out shopping and we're sure they spent our entire life's savings in 30 minutes or less.
10. Beyoncé, Jay Z & Blue in Beverly Hills — Nov. 11
Beyonce in these heels though?!
11. Beyoncé & Blue in NYC — Nov. 4
Look at Blue in her adorable little bow!
12. Beyoncé & Blue spotted in NYC — Nov. 4
Blue holding on to mommy for dear life.
13. Beyoncé & Blue spotted in NYC — Nov. 4
Momma Bey looking fierce with her mini me in tow.
14. Blue dressed as Michael Jackson.
15. Blue & Ivy
Just look at that face. Seriously, Jay could never deny this child! She knows how to make all his mean mugs!
16. Beyoncé, Jay Z & Blue in Beverly Hills — Nov. 11
Look at that cutie!
17. Beyoncé, Jay Z & Blue in Beverly Hills — Nov. 11
OMG Blue in a top knot? Yasss!
Blue has grown up to be an adorable toddler! We're swooning over this photo of her playing on the beach.
Looks like Blue is taking a walk in mom's shoes...literally.
20. Beyoncé & Blue
There's nothing like being cuddled up in mom's arms.
Blue is looking all kinds of adorable! Look at that left hand go! LOL.
22. Blue On The Big Screen
Bey & Jay look at Blue during a video played at an "On The Run" tour stop. How precious!
23. Pardon Blue's Back
She's growing up so fast! We're loving the top knot. Take that Blue Ivy hair critics!
24. Jump Around
Bey & Blue share an adorable moment on the trampoline. Hello summer!
25. Rocking Some Cute Ponytails
Blue Ivy was spotted with a new 'do! Bey & Jay's mini-me was holding on to her father during a little day stroll.
26. Strolling With Mom & Dad
Blue, Jay and Bey all spotted in East Hampton.
27. Blue Has A Manicure Day With Mama Bey
"Me and my Blue, and my Blue Blue, riding🐝"
28. Hanging Out With Mom
Baby Blue is walking to the door, and it looks like Bey is trying to keep up!
29. Trying On Some Heels
Will Blue be slaying a performance in the near future?
30. Holding On To Mom
Blue looks like she has something to say to Bey.
31. Playing A Game Of Tennis
Blue walks on the tennis court.
32. Cuddling With Mom
Blue & Beyonce have some much-needed cuddle time.
33. Blue Ivy
"The blueprint 🐝"
34. Bey & Blue Take A Stroll
Doesn't Blue look adorable with her colorful dress and cute hair ribbon?
35. The Carter Lounge Together
The family was seen out and about.
36. Jay Z Carries Blue While Bey Looks On
Jay carries Blue in his arms.
37. Leading The Way
Blue Ivy looks too cute with her bowler hat and Mama Bey watching from behind. She's really growing up!
38. Out On The Town
Blue Ivy & Momma Bey enjoy some much deserved time off in Spain.
39. Traveling With Mom and Dad
Blue is used to traveling with Mama Bey and Poppa Jay, but she also looked a little flustered at some moments. It's ok, baby Blue!
40. A Day At The Park
Poppa Jay Z lets Blue Ivy have her way with the bouncy horse.
41. It's A Family Affair
Beyonce, Jay and Blue jetsetting in Dublin.
Blue dressed up like a hipster and plays a quick game of peekaboo! How adorable!
43. OMG It's Blue's Beautiful Face!
FINALLY! We get to see how beautiful Blue is! Look at the adorable headband! "Blue 💙"
44. Blue Ivy
Life's a beach!
45. Brooklyn Stand Up!
"Beyonce & Blue"
46. Blue Ivy's Got Her Own iPhone
"Momma, what's your password?"
47. Beyonce's Lazy Day With Blue
"Momma, I asked you for your password!"
48. When Blue Ivy Takes Your Phone, Beyonce Be Like...
"Fine, I'll go ask Daddy!"
49. Blue Ivy On Tour
"Bey & Blue"
50. It's Playtime
Beyonce & Blue take some time out to play.
51. A Chilly Day In NYC
"Beyoncé, Jay Z and Blue Ivy in NYC - Jan. 19"
52. All Bundled Up
The royal family makes their way to their fancy car.
53. Kisses From Dad
Blue's all bundled up, getting love from Daddy.
54. Blue At The White House
Blue Ivy's taking after mommy and writing a letter.
55. Blue Loves Bo
The White House pup, Bo is showing Blue Ivy some love.
56. The Carters At The White House
Check out the royal family checking out the scene at the White House.
57. It's Christmas Time Again
Blue and Bey checking out the White House Christmas tree.
58. Blue Lovin' Bo
Blue Ivy, dressed like a Princess, showing Bo some love.
59. Like Father, Like Daughter
Blue playing dress up with Daddy's hat.
60. Fun Times With Mommy
Blue Ivy spends some QT with mommy.
61. Mommy & Me
Blue and Bey take a break for some snacks.
62. Silvery Blue
Beyonce carries Blue, while the adorable toddler rocks a metallic jacket that we want and need.
63. The Holy Grail
Blue, Bey & Jay
64. One Big Happy Family
"#miami #newyear #2014"
"Beyoncé & Blue 💙"
66. Blue & Daddy In A Blue Jacket
"Jay and Blue 💙 #NewYear #2014 #Miami"
67. Hold On To Me
"Happy New Year Mommy!"
68. Dora Dora Dora The Explorer
"Beyoncé, Blue and Dora the Explorer"
69. Daddy & Bey
"Look over there Blue, you own that too."
70. Blue's Big B-Day
"Mommy make sure they can only see the back of my head."
71. Painted Faces For Blue's Bday
"Let me get down Mommy, I wanna play!"
72. Kisses From Mommy
Beyonce and Blue prepping for Momma Tina's Masquerade Ball
73. Talk To The Hand!
Beyonce, Jay Z and Blue Ivy were spotted leaving Joey's restaurant in Miami, on January 8th, and Blue had a message for the paps! Talk to the hand!
74. Me & My Daddy
While Beyonce's arm rested, Jay carried Blue from Joey's restaurant, in Miami on January 8th.
75. Blue's First Words
"I'm ready to slay right along with you, Ma!"
76. Imagine The Sound Of This Lullaby
A newborn Blue Ivy gets serenaded by her superstar mother.
77. Don't Mess With Blue!
Every now and again, Blue Ivy reminds you...she is her father's child!
78. All Gold Everything
Blue Ivy takes after her dad's swag. The inseparable duo were spotted in South Beach, Miami illuminating the streets outside their hotel with their yellow luster!
79. All Of The Lights!
"Mommy! All the pretty colors are so blinding! I'm...just..so..overwhelmed! When's my shot coming?! When's my shot coming?!" Blue plays on set with Bey at her 'Blow' video shoot.
80. Hey Blue!
"I can be happy sometimes, see?"
81. Blue Ivy With Daddy
"Why are we clapping, again? I'm not in the shot."
82. Jay Z Tries To Get Blue To Listen To "Magna Carta Holy Grail"
"Daddy, I'm more of a Nas fan."
83. Stepping With Mom
"Wait, Ma. I want the camera to see all angles of this sick dress!"
84. Splashin' & Playin'
"Mom, this water is clean, right? Because I'm not trying to splash in water I can't trust."
85. Beyonce Discusses Important Matters
"Mommy, I completely get it. Yes, I promise to watch the throne."
86. Mommy's Hugs
"Ok, Ma. I love you to pieces, but I like oxygen too." Bey may be the Queen, but this scene from her video "Blue" makes it look as if she can't get enough of being Mom.
87. Blue Ivy Twirls
"Aaaahh, I'm having so much fun not thinking about anything...wiippeee...oh, wait...getting a little sick."
88. Just So You Know...
"I run things. Don't get it twisted."
89. Mommy & Me Loungin'
"Oh, Mommy, I'm so tired of seeing the wigs you snatched last night all on our floor. It's so exhausting. Like, when're they getting picked up? Not now? Oh. Ok."
90. A Kiss For Blue
"Mommy, let me sleep, dang!"
91. Slurpin' On That Milk...Slurpin' Slurpin' On That Milk
"Mommy, gimme that bottle!"
We could watch this adorable GIF of Blue Ivy nonstop forever!
93. Jay Sneaks In Kisses
"Dadddd! Get..Away!..I don't want...No, ugh..No kisses!"
94. Blue Stares Back...
"Hey! Who's that?!"
95. Blue Still Doesn't Get Why Anyone's Here
"No, really, who are you? You're getting to close."
96. Blue and Bey Out For Lunch
"I'm over this now. People just won't let us be. Mom, why can't we just be?!"
97. Blue Is One Tough Cookie
"Ma, please let me just kick them in the face. Like, please, I can't see through all these lights."
98. Blue Jetsets With Jay
"Dad, do we own this boat? I just figured we owned everything, so..."
99. Beyonce Keeps Blue Covered
"Mommy, I think you forgot my feet. I'm cold right now. Are we inside?"
100. Beyonce LOVES Her Blue
Look at that face, how could you not kiss it?!