Happy New Year.  2010 is history.  2011 is a promise and a dream.   I’m jazzed, excited, motivated … and reflective.  This time of year I do like to reflect on what went right and what went wrong.  What did I do well and what can I improve?

I challenge you to do the same.  Some call these thoughts New Year’s Resolutions – others call them goal setting.

Simply put, I like to set some S.M.A.R.T. goals for the year:

  • Specific            – written down
  • Measurable     – quantifiable
  • Attainable       – for you at this time in your life
  • Realistic          – reasonable
  • Timely              – due date

Many of you know that I'm the 'goal' guy.  Set 'em & hit 'em.  If you don't set 'em, you won't hit 'em.  This is a good time of year to reflect, assess, tweak the course or direction.  You know, the old definition of insanity ... is doing the same thing over again & hoping for a different result.  Oh, and usually if I set ‘em and miss ‘em, I’m a lot further ahead than if I never set the goal.

Not that there's anything wrong with consistent, steady execution delivering consistent, steady results.  Yes, I do think that's the essence of life:  embrace the day.  Carpe' Diem.  Don't get so lost in the future that you miss the wonder of each day.  Oh, yes, that resonates with me.  Sign me up for the wonder and awe of each day.  

I think that we should each have written and specific goals for general areas of our life.  In fact, if they're not written and specific – then we still have the goals.  They're just mental and general.  They're essentially who we are.  Nothing wrong with that.  I think that written and specific goals deliver timely and measurable results.  

So, here’s some areas of our life that we can set goals:

  • Mental
  • Spiritual
  • Physical - health
  • Financial - business
  • Relational - emotional
  • Service - giving

How am I going to grow mentally in a post structured educational world; how am I going to grow spiritually this year?  How am I going to maintain or improve my physical well being - my health; how am I going to improve my financial performance; how will I improve my relationship with myself and others; how will I stretch myself emotionally; how will I give to others this year - financially and physically?  

Am I satisfied with everything in my life?  Can I grow, mature, improve, move forward?  

What are you going to do to grow, stretch, challenge yourself?  One year ago Labrone James said about the whooping they put on Los Angeles that night in the NBA, "It wasn't about sending a message to them, it was about sending a message to ourselves and seeing how we match up with the best ..."  

What message are you sending to yourself this year?

How about picking some mental, educational, business type goals like:

  • How many books will you read this year - in what areas?
  • What certification will you pursue - which requires study and another ... test?
  • What class will you attend with the completion award - like Toastmasters, Dale Carnegie, Chamber courses, etc.?
  • What personal goals will you set to drive up personal performance and earn more money?
  • How will you improve your net worth - by how many dollars - what %?
  • What daily or weekly activities will you change in order to change your results?
  • What reward will you assign to yourself that you'll enjoy upon hitting your desired objectives?

That's it.  As we catapult into 2011 and suddenly we’re pillar to post, I am challenging each of us to reflect on ourselves and the last year.  How am I going to turn the crankWhat am I going to change in order to improve my results?   What course correction will I make so that I hit my desired target?  

How will I challenge myself to personal growth and improvement?

God bless your new year,

Michael Ritsema
i3 Business Solutions, llc

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Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.