New year, old you: Why thinking you'll transform yourself in the new year sells yourself short

It’s the new year, a traditional time for setting goals, feeling guilty and inadequate, and resolving to be a better person. Not necessarily in that order. Goals and resolutions are great, and everyone here at Sol is definitely on board with making them and supporting each other to achieve them.

Let’s be realistic. Expecting to completely transform yourself by losing weight, being a better parent or spouse or daughter, becoming more active in your community, learning new skills, getting a better job and finally taking that dream trip to Vietnam is setting yourself up for failure. It’s also selling yourself short.

First, you didn’t make it this far by being a complete loser. You’ve managed to eke out a career of some sort, make your way through this complex society to become at least a semi-responsible adult, and be in a position to read the Sol Marketing post about setting goals. You, my friend, are already aces.

Second, goals that are vague are difficult to achieve. As my grandpa may or may not have once said while we were skeet shooting, “You can’t hit a blurry target.”

Just as you do in your company planning sessions, set those SMART goals for yourself for 2016.

SMART goals are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Actionable
  • Realistic
  • Time bound

One of my own 2016 SMART goals is to enter my homemade canned goods in two categories (tomato preserves and sour brined pickles) into competition at the State Fair of Texas. That’s specific, measurable and actionable. I’ve made these before and have gotten lots of positive feedback, so I know it’s realistic to do this. And, the deadline is sometime in July, which is perfect because the spring tomatoes ripen in late May through June, and cucumbers are starting to come on in July. So there’s a timeframe associated with this.

Rather than think you need to completely reinvent yourself—you don’t, and even if you did it wouldn’t work—think about specific steps you’ll take to have a spectacular, or at least satisfying, 2016. As for myself, I’m taking orders now for the limited edition batches of tomato jam.