It’s that time of year again. That time when we do one of two things. Make resolutions or resolve to not make resolutions because they never stick anyway.
Let me admit, I am in the second camp.
This year, I’m going to try something different. I did a lot of learning and growing this past year. When in grad school, a lot of my lessons were geared towards development of employees and all the tools that were available (One of my specializations was in management). Now, in the classroom, this was all fine and dandy. Good ideas, good theory, but without applying it to myself, it was just that…theory. This past year I had the opportunity to apply it the way it was meant to be used, and I applied it to myself and created a development plan for work. So, this year, instead of a vague, more or less unrealistic list of resolutions (the wishlist), I thought that perhaps I come up with few SMART goals.
SMART goals are those that are: Specific, Meaningful, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. An example of the difference between a resolution and a SMART goal would be:
Resolution: I will start running.
The problem: It’s a bit vague. Will you run regularly? How far will you run? How will you measure success?
SMART Goal: I will start running at least twice a week and complete my first 5K by November.
Better? It’s more specific, I will start running at least twice a week. It’s meaningful and attainable and there is a time frame associated with it (without deadlines, nothing ever gets done!). How is achievement of the goal measured? When I cross that finish line of the 5K. Goal achieved!
So, here are some goals (and why they are meaningful) for myself for 2013. This list is a living document, so things can and probably will be added as the year goes on. Maybe in December, over a cup of tea and some cake, I can look back and see how I did.
Make a sponge cake roll I’d be proud to serve and photograph by June.
The sponge cake roll is the one thing I keep trying, and keep failing at. Remember how my last attempt was so bad I had to put it in a loaf pan and serve it covered in cream). I would like to master this sponge cake roll at least once…at least by June!
Complete a half marathon in under 1:56:30 (chip time) by December.
When it comes to running, I am very goal oriented. When I don’t have races planned, I find I start getting lazy with my running, which leads me to the state I am in now. After the marathon, I’ve become unsettled, unmotivated and 15 pounds heavier. Some of that 15 pounds I would like to attribute to the muscle gain from Crossfit, which I do plan on continuing as a supplement to my running, not the other way around. But in reality, most of it is from getting lazy with the running and eating like I was still training. Since I don’t want to do another marathon next year, perhaps this year I focus on speed work and try to achieve a new PR in a distance I race every year, but last set a PR back in 2009.
Do 1 unassisted pullup by October.
If I have a running goal, I’m also going to have a Crossfit goal. Since I am at the mercy of my gym’s programming, I don’t know how attainable it would be for me to reach other goals I have in mind when it comes to my strength training. Goals such as being able to clean (lifting a weighted barbell from the floor up till it’s in a front rack position, across my neck/shoulder line) 100 pounds (I’m up to 85 pounds now), and finally break the 200 pound mark for my dead lifts (195 pounds is my current PR), will be entirely dependent on when my gym programs these into our workouts. However, pullup’s I can practice, once I get that pull up bar for my apartment….
Complete a draft business plan for my cafe, ChezSylvia by December.
This has always been something I’ve had in the back of my mind. I want to own my own business one of these days, but in what, I was never sure. I don’t love engineering enough to start my own firm sometime down the line. A cafe is always something I would love to have, but always a little afraid to give it too much thought to in fear that either I’ll realize it will be a terrible idea and kill that dream, or realize that it’s the best idea ever, and I have to make the jump. This year, I think it’s time for me to face the idea and determine if it was the idea I was in love with, or if I really do love it enough to take the plunge. Love…such a funny thing.
Go on a girlfriend getaway by September.
As my friends and I are growing up and going through the paces of adulthood, it’s getting tougher to keep in touch at the same levels we were once used to. The past two years have been great. I was able to travel to Hong Kong with Liz, and this year I explored Scotland with Jenny. I don’t want to lose that, and I would like to keep it going. Now it’s just a matter of seeing who wants to/would be able to travel with me! With the rather unique issue I face regarding my vacation days, and an apartment in no hurry for furniture (one of the pros of being single), multiple trips are likely this year. Possible destinations in mind for this year? Montreal, BBQ tour of the South, Outer Banks, NC, Cape Cod, Singapore and Kyoto. Girls….who’s up for a trip(s)?
There are other goals I have in mind. They just aren’t fully developed and thought through quite yet to fit the SMART criteria. Like I said before, this is a living document, so I can add on once I figured them out.
Till then, I hope you find some meaningful goals for yourself for continuous improvement for the next year! Happy New Year everyone!