At the risk of having a blog post that mirrors most everyone else’s in topic, with the coming new year, I am getting excited about what New Year’s resolutions I can commit to. I know, I know it’s so easy to make a New Year’s resolution, and promote them, and everyone is talking about the now, but why are they so difficult to follow through on for so many? My theory is simple, but feedback has shown it to be frequently true.
I come from the belief that New Year’s Resolutions go largely unaccomplished because we really don’t give enough thought to proper goal setting. Coaching people on how to be great at networking involves making sure clients know how to properly set a goal. Whether setting a goal to meet more people at a networking event or deciding that you will work out more this year, there are ways to make your goals SMARTer and that much more achievable.
I like to set goals using the SMART methodology (and apologies if you use different words for each letter as I have modified it a little). What is a SMART goal? A SMART goal is a goal that is:
Specific – (the more precise the goal the better)
Measurable – (apply a measurement, use your numbers)
Attainable – (whatever your goal is, make it practical)
Revisable – (good goals do not have to be abandoned when you hit resistance, you can modify)
Timeable – (set a time limit making the goal less daunting and defined)
In a networking setting I will coach a client how to make the goal “meet more people at a networking event” a SMART goal. We break it down to something like this: “I will go to a 1 hour networking function, introduce myself to 3 new people I have not previously met within that hour and get a business card from each.” Meeting 3 people in 1 hour is attainable. Of course, what if you are a student looking for a job and the first person you meet is a recruiter and the conversation is going well? In that instance I might revise my goal to meeting just one.
So this year I will apply SMART goals to my New Year’s resolutions. The first thing I will do is make it attainable. One resolution will be just fine for me. This year I resolve to pick up the phone and speak to one Career Services director a week at a University to speak about the Networking Junkie methodology and ask if I can present a seminar. It’s a great start and something that I am motivated to do and is easily measurable. How will you make your resolution(s) SMART?