Got resolutions? What’s your resolve to make them a reality? (Part 2 of 3)

Here's to making 2012 a year of planning

Benjamin Franklin is often credited with the quote “If you fail to prepare, then you prepare to fail.” Others have adapted that saying to the more common “Fail to plan and you plan to fail.”

The most common reason people fail when making New Year Resolutions, they have failed to prepare themselves to make the necessary behavioral changes to accomplish the resolution.  So, as we have recommended, FORGET the New Year Resolutions! Instead, focus on creating a plan to accomplish your goals in 2012.

The goal planning process begins with your vision. What is it that you want to accomplish? How do you see yourself differently based upon this accomplishment? What will achieving this accomplishment feel like? Once you have this vision in your mind, you are ready for the next step.

This next step is often the most difficult part of preparing your plan. In order to achieve your vision, you must determine the behavioral changes which will be necessary to achieve your vision. Many people end their planning at this point. Either they simply don’t know what behaviors to change or they begin to identify possible obstacles and choose to end their planning.

If you find yourself in the first group where you don’t know what behaviors to change, then you need some help to identify the behaviors. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You have many resources available to you. Consider a family member, friend, mentor, supervisor, teacher, coach, or someone who has achieved the accomplishment in your vision. Often, the act of sharing your vision with someone else will help motivate you to achieve your vision.

When you have determined the behavioral changes necessary to achieve your vision, then you are ready to apply the S.M.A.R.T. system to these behaviorally focused goals. That’s right the behavior changes should become your goals. As you accomplish the series of behavior changes, you are progressing towards your vision. The S.M.A.R.T. acronym is:

  • Specific – Your behavior changes or goals should be as specific as possible.
  • Measurable – You must have a method to measure the behavior change. Self-assessment, using someone to observe you, or predetermining the appropriate metrics to measure your behavior changes is a necessary step to achieving your vision.
  • Attainable – The goal must be attainable. If you have successfully identified the behavior changes and you are using these behavior changes as the road map to your vision, then each step should be attainable. If you find the behavior change you have identified is not attainable, then you have likely missed a critical step in the behavior changes.
  • Realistic – Once again, because you should be focused on a series of behavior changes, your vision should be realistically achievable. Often goals are not achievable because they are not behaviorally focused. If your vision is to climb Mount Everest and you’ve never walked for more than 5 miles, then you obviously need to set a series of behaviorally focused goals to make vision a reality.
  • Time Bound – Each goal or behavior change should include a time measurement. How long will it take to accomplish the behavior change.

As you set your behaviorally focused goals, you will want to consider the rewards, consequences, affirmations, possible obstacles, possible solutions, action steps, and who might need to be consulted to help you achieve your goals. Our NEXT Blog in this series will address HOW you consider those items. Check back with us on Friday for Part 3 of 3.

In the meantime, visit us at, for more information.



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About davegregory

Dave Gregory, Chief Learning Officer for Inspired Performance Solutions, Inc., believes in the power of the strengths movement. During the past 15 years, Dave managed the Learning Solutions activities of Qwest’s Mass Markets Group, including call centers, retail stores, indirect retail, e-business, collections, alternative markets and the small business teams. Mr. Gregory graduated from Creighton University’s School of Law in 1993 earning a Juris Doctor. He completed his undergraduate education receiving a BSBA with an emphasis in marketing from the University of Nebraska-Omaha in 1990. Mr. Gregory has more than 25 years experience in business development and consulting.

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