According to productivity expert (and Portland native), Charlie Gilkey

"While planning can seem quite basic, mastering the basics allows you to master ever-greater challenges, and, conversely, not being able to plan effectively keeps you from doing the truly great things you’d otherwise be able to do."

Setting yourself up for success starts with planning out goals that are SMART. SMART stands for:

  • Simple - it's easy to understand
  • Meaningful - it's important to you
  • Actionable - there's a specific action you take to complete it
  • Realistic - it's achievable with your given resources
  • Trackable - you can measure or track your achievement

Other versions of the SMART goals describe them as: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound. Whichever acronym you prefer, being intentional about your goals and setting yourself up for success from the planning stage will make a big difference.

Here are a few other tips for staying true to your resolution:

  • Consider what challenges and obstacles may get in the way and come up with a plan, in advance, for how to avoid or overcome them.
  • Look at your calendar and make sure there is a specific time each day or week to work on your goal.
  • Break your goal into smaller steps. Then map out a schedule, taking into consideration the other parts of your day or week that may take time and energy away from the success of your goal.
  • Tell someone else about your goal who can hold you accountable.
  • Don't let the first sign of failure be an excuse to give up. Remember why the goal is important to you and pick back up where you left off.

What has successfully helped you keep a resolution or achieve a goal? What you recommendations would you add to our tips?



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  • Michelle Chang