Happy New Year! Technically, the New Year starts on January 1st. For people who spend the months from June and August enjoying the lazy days of summer, then September really is the New Year. It is the time of year when the kids go back to school. Yahoo! It is the time of year when skimpy summer wardrobes are switched out for those cozy fall sweaters. It is the time of year when the leaves turn crimson and the transition to a new season is evident all around us.

This all leads to a time of change. A time of renewal and an energy that comes after a long vacation. This energy is the kind that can propel new ideas forward. It is also a time when you are hungry for connection. You are excited and you want to share that excitement with your clients, your co workers and your business associates.

All of this being said, perhaps it is time for you to take advantage of the opportunities that September has to offer and create a New Year plan that starts when the first school bell rings. It is time to revisit those New Years goals, aspirations and resolutions that got left by the wayside back in the short winter days of January.

Here is the traditional version of a SMART Goal:

  • Specific (rather than general or vague)
  • Measurable (so you know once it’s achieved)
  • Attainable (make sure the goals are realistic!)
  • Relevant (make sure there is a connection with your bigger goals)
  • Time-bound (there’s an end point, or a ‘deadline’ for it to be accomplished by)

Does the traditional SMART system for goal setting work? For many it does. Never one for following rules, I have created my own version that speaks to where I am in my business and life. I hope it can help you to build momentum around your goals with and tiny bit of structure.

Simple means that the goal is attainable. So many people set their goals so far above what they have the skills and capacity to do that they automatically set themselves up for failure. Remember that simple is not always easy. Think of dieting, it is simple … but is it easy?

Meaningful means that the goal has some heart. It has your heart which means that you are engaged and invested in the outcome.

Aspirational means that goal is inspiring to you and to others that will be impacted by your goal.

Relevant to your life. Have a look at who you are right now and what is important to you. What you are passionate about? What gets you jazzed? The goal gets you excited!

Timely meaning, does it fit into your current schedule and lifestyle? All projects or initiatives have different time requirements. Do your planning based on time available and time needed.

While you are enjoying the last few dog days of summer, set aside time to think about the coming months, the journey and the direction you are on and how you can add energy and create momentum in your projects using your SMARTs.