I am not fond of New Year resolutions. I like goals, but only those that are smart goals, with my main focus set on goals that are accountable and measurable.

Smart stands for:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

So, if I say I want to lose weight in 2019, that is not a smart goal. Why isn’t it a smart goal? Take a look at these questions and answers:

  1. How much weight do I want to lose? 22 pounds
  2. Is weight loss achievable? Yes – through diet and exercise
  3. In what time frame will I lose the weight? (How much weight loss per week, month, or year?) No less than 2 pounds per month, 22 pounds lost by 12/31/2019.

Now that I’ve answered these questions with specifics, I compiled my responses and set a smart goal. My goal is achievable. It isn’t as if I said I plan to bring in one million dollars revenue within the next week. Would that be achievable? Ummm…likely NOT. I will lose 22 pounds within the set time frame, 2 pounds per month, and 22 pounds lost by 12/31/2019.

When setting business goals, relevancy is crucial. So, let’s look at an example.

Fact, I am currently a virtual assistant and my business focus is freelance writing and web design and maintenance, and my ideal clients are life coaches, therapists, speakers, authors, consultants and teachers—female owned and operated small businesses.

Example goal for my business: To obtain new clients in 2019 and the deliverables are colorful yearly planner templates.

Is this goal:

  1. Specific? No. See the next question.
  2. Measurable? No. How many new clients in 2019?
  3. Achievable? Yes, but only if additional smart goals are set, such as, learn how to make the yearly planner templates (when and how?). Determine how the templates are going to be produced (color, file type, etc.), and add these products to my current business offerings (on my site and in marketing materials, by when?).
  4. Relevant? No. Not to my current business model. What changes to do I need to make to my business model, specifically, and by when?
  5. Time-bound? No. By when do I plan to onboard the new clients (per week, month, or year)? By when do I need to produce the planner page products?

Before I create my smart goals for any season, I focus on a single word. Grit was my word in January 2018. Did I follow through with all of my 2018 goals (did I stick to them with grit)? No. Some, yes. Where did I fall off track in 2018? I did not set and retain the measurable and time-bound portion of the goals. I wanted to claim grit, but “wanted to” and “did” are two entirely different things. Without measurable and time-bound goals, accountability flies out the window. Poof! Gone to the wind. I claim victory for many smaller, measurable, and time-bound 2018 goals.

My word for 2019 was difficult to come up with. I ended up asking my husband, my in-house life coach partner for help. He said, “Extraordinary.” At first, the introvert in me wanted to reject the notion.Then, I thought why not? Mirriam–Webster defines extraordinary as 1a: going beyond what is usual, regular, or customary. 1b: exceptional to a very marked extent. 2: employed for or sent on a special function or service. Wa-la! 1a describes me to a “t.” My focus is to go above and beyond for my clients—always! I do everything in my power to help make the operations of my client’s business flow smoother through the work that I do.

My calling: provide encouragement and inspiration to women, through both written and verbal words, and to plant and grow myself as an example of light in the world.

My planning process involves taking the word of the year (or month, whatever…as the word can change throughout the year) and wrapping my smart goals around that word. What do I want to achieve in January 2019? Let’s make that extraordinary! Let’s celebrate business and life, and that’s how I will claim “exceptional to a very marked extent.” Do I want to write a few blog posts, or do I want to reach thousands of people through encouraging and helpful words? The latter. Extraordinary.

I always keep a white board in my office with either words or a quote that moves my soul, inspiration in my line of vision at all times. I don’t want to erase these words, but I’ll have to if I want to allow new ones to come into my life. Here are 2018’s quotes and thoughts: When was the last time you did something for the first time? (Think like a child. Look at life with refreshed eyes. Life is a gift.) Don’t believe everything you THINK. (You are what you think…) All in!! (It is all or nothing, right?!)

Final note: Just to keep things transparent, I do not plan to design planner pages for clients. I do design my own. I bought oodles of pre-made planners last season and didn’t like a single one except for the bullet journal.

This year, I have a bullet journal, a blank spiral bound calendar for social media planning, and inexpensive spiral bound notebooks for daily and monthly notes (specific notes what worked/did not work in my business/marketing). I also print my own month (begin and end) questions. Such as:

  • What milestones did you reach this month?
  • What is the must-reach goal for this month?
  • Did you reach your goal(s)?
  • What stopped you from reaching your goal(s)?
  • What are you looking forward to this month?
  • What are you grateful for?

These are example questions, there are more. You can see that I ask questions that dig into me personally. Why grow a business if you’re not happy? We have to stay on track with who we are uniquely created to be.

Non-affiliate link to bullet journal: My favorite brand Leuchtturm. Numbered pages. Can also be bought in discount stores, but not this brand, and the paper quality is not the same.