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  • Writer's pictureBritt Leigh

Magic of New Beginnings

I didn’t accomplish the goals I had for myself in 2020. Well, truth be told, I didn’t do a great job of setting goals for myself. They weren’t specific enough, and I struggled to keep track of them as the year progressed.

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine asked me how I saw 2021 shaping up compared to 2020. I replied that the beginning of 2020 was a bit confusing and disorienting. The only thing I knew for sure was that I wanted to pursue writing, but I didn’t have a good understanding of my goals, nor did I have the tools to forge a path forward. So, I treated 2020 as preparation for a long journey of which, at least initially, I wasn’t 100% sure of the final destination.

Throughout the year, I packed my ship with a variety of resources that would be helpful at a multitude of destinations. I played with different writing styles, I researched different options for writing careers, and I forged connections with people in the industries I most admire.

As 2020 progressed, my vision became more focused, and I began to develop a stronger plan for my future. The resources I began to pack were for more specific terrain – to help me navigate potentially choppy waters. I talked to more coaches, reconfigured my website, and set my sights on my future.

Something about a New Year often feels like a clean slate or a fresh start, but this year is about continuing the work I put in last year with a better understanding of my goals. SMART goals are the best way to be sure that you are achieving the dreams you wish to make a reality, and I am in the process of developing my own.

One of these goals is to complete the first draft of my second novel by the end of 2021 to further establish myself as a writer and author.

This example goal is much more in line with the SMART goals methodology so many successful folks use to track their dreams. Here are a few tips for developing your own SMART goals:

Specific. Identify what you wish to accomplish, its importance, the resources necessary (including people), and any limitations.

Measurable. Identify the people involved, the amount of effort required, and the time it will take to accomplish the goal. If you don’t have a target date in your goal, it isn’t SMART.

Achievable. It’s important to make sure you are assessing whether or not your goal is achievable. If you know there will be roadblocks that will interfere with the goal or timeline, you may want to reassess.

Relevant. The goal should be meaningful and worthwhile to you in the long run. Don’t waste your precious time and effort focused on a goal that you don’t ultimately feel is valuable.

Time-Bound. A deadline is a great foundation to develop milestones to ensure that you are on track to hit your target date.

This is the magic of New Beginnings. You can start again with better goals – SMARTer goals.

2021 is the year I set sail. Not today or tomorrow, but this year. I know what resources I have left to collect, and I know where to find them. While 2021 is the year I set sail, this doesn’t mean that it will be the year I arrive at my final destination. But it does mean that I will be well on my way.

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