Friday, January 13, 2012

How to achieve your goals in the new year. Как достигнуть своих целей в новом году

  По-русски можно прочесть тута, а то слишком длинно вышло бы в одном посте :).

  I have lots of plans and wishes for this year, and to make it all happen I need to approach my goal in a certain way. If I just wish to make gym more often in 2012 I'll probably again forget about it and be lazy :). And I don't want to. Luckily, wise people already found the way to achieve your goals not in your dreams, but in reality. That's what I'm going to share with you – let's together make our dreams come true? ^^


S.M.A.R.T. means the rules for achieving goals. Your goals should be:

Specific — not “I want to learn Japanese someday” but “I want to learn speaking Japanese using these tools”. Not “I want to make gym more often” but “I want to make these exercises 5 times a week”. You should answer these questions:
What exactly do I want to achieve?
Why do I want it? How is it beneficial for me?
Who is involved? (Me, co-workers, teachers, trainers, etc.)
Where will I do it?
What are the requirements and limits?

Measurable — not “I want to learn Japanese kanji” but “I want to learn 1000 kanji in 2012”, for example. It lets you see your progress. If you cannot measure your progress, how will you know if you really made some progress or it just feels that way? ;) Each kanji will be like a tiny mark giving me the feeling of getting closer to my goal with every step.

Attainable — there is no need to flatter yourself too much. I'm not hoping to gain 10 kg this year – it'd be a miracle, so that's not my goal. The goal should be realistic, something you can actually make happen. If you know you'll have time to go to a swimming pool only once a week, then so be it. When you set an attainable goal it's usually easy to answer “How am I going to achieve it?”

Relevant — if your auntie Helen wants you to learn tango but you don't, then you don't need such a goal. Choose only things you really want to do, for which you'd be ready to work hard. I don't think that learning 1000 kanji in 2012 is impossible because I like kanji ^^, but for someone else it could be too boring and thus too hard.

Time-Bound — there is no such day as “someday”. Set your goals for certain time periods. Not “I wish to speak German/Mandarin Chinese/French etc. someday” but “Next month I'm going to learn that many words, watch that many movies in this language etc.” With time limits you'll get a deadline and the feeling of urgency. I can't waste my time watching TV, when I have to prepare something before 19th of January :).

So use these guidelines when planning 2012. You can also write your goal on paper and hang it somewhere where you'd often see it. One more thing – it's much easier to reach smaller goals. Have goals for each day, week, month, not only for the whole year. Chunk bigger goals into smaller ones, like “Today I watch a movie in Japanese and learn that many words”. Small goals are more achievable and less intimidating. What sounds harder, learning a language in a year or watching a movie today? ^^ I choose goals of the size of hobbits, not ents :).

All I need to do now is to write everything about my goals for this year. For now I only have areas, not exact plans of actions. Soon I'll make a detailed plan for February for myself. So, what kind of year will I have:
  • writing - I need to scan my first novel's manuscript (because if I lose it I won't be able to just write it again, and later I can edit it); I want to work on the second novel regularly, so that the first draft will be ready not in 10 years but earlier this time :))
  • Japanese – well, you know, 1000 kanji and watching movies with beautiful Asian actors ^^ (ah, Takeshi Kaneshiro *_*)
  • Finnish – I'll learn that slang, I will!
  • physical - I want to make exercises for eyes regularly (hi, my myopia!) and to gain some muscles on my skinny arms, because I really don't know how to gain any fat there (do you have any extra fat? I accept donations ^^)
  • yummy - I want to learn more recipes from various cuisines especially Japanese (I found a Japanese vegan cookbook on Amazon) and Indian
  • loud – to make vocal exercises not once in a few months but much more often ^^, and, well, would be nice to hit right notes more often as well :D
  • bookish – to read even more more :D like in the old joke: “give me please pills against greediness, and a lot, a lot”
  • hairy - I want to find that magic amla oil people tell so much about. It makes your hair thicker and grow faster, etc. ^^ I only use coconut oil now
  • and of course this year will be a blogging year :) - I want to write in 3+ blogs actively and regularly, have time to read your wonderful blogs and leave more comments.

So that's what I'll be doing this year – a hairy fan of Japan singing songs in Finnish while making gym :). What are your plans for 2012?

(The source for S.M.A.R.T., among others.)

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