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I recently saw this fabulous quote emblazoned on the wall next to an office door while looking for inspiration to decorate my office:


It’s written by motivational speaker Greg S. Reid, and it stuck in my mind because it was a simple, yet perfect recipe, to make dreams a reality.

This is the time of year when we make all kinds of resolutions for the coming 12 months. The trouble is that at the end of 2017 many of those resolutions will have fallen by the wayside – to be unsuccessfully made again come January 2018.

The quote I found was obviously being used to inspire business success. But then it occurred to me that the strategies used to meet our business dreams are the same ones we can use to make our New Year’s resolutions a reality.

Basically it’s the same as the SMART goals theory so beloved of management seminar “facilitators” (I loathe that word) for decades. But it truly does apply to personal goals too.



SMART is a mnemonic acronym used as a goal setting guide.



In case you’ve forgotten (or blocked the memories!) here’s a recap of SMART.

Develop a SPECIFIC action plan

Determine short- and long-term steps that will help you reach your goal. Instead of resolving to lose 10 kilos, create a plan that includes how you will achieve that goal and focuses on health and wellness.

Ensure your plan is MEASUREABLE

It’s not enough to say you want to lose weight or read more books. Say you want to lose 12 kilos in a year, at one kilo per month, or that you want to read 12 books this year, at a rate of one per month.

Are your goals ACHIEVABLE

When you identify goals that are most important to you, you begin to figure out ways you can make them come true. You develop the attitudes, abilities, skills, and financial capacity to reach them. You begin seeing previously overlooked opportunities to bring yourself closer to the achievement of your goals.

Make REALISTIC goals

Focus on goals that can be achieved and that will make a positive impact on your life. The emotional tone of your plan needs to be hopeful, happy or pleasurable.

Set a TIME limit

With no time frame tied to it, there’s no sense of urgency. If you want to lose 12 kilos, when do you want to lose it by?


I’d be inclined to add one more thing:

PUBLICLY share your resolution

Tell your friends and family your goal. Post updates on social media to keep yourself accountable.


Of course, it’s all very well to create a SMART goal, but you’ll soon forget about it when February rolls around, work gets back into full swing, kids are back at school and we’re all back on the hectic merry-go-round of life.

I found a short business plan template that I’ve amended to use for my New Year’s resolutions and pinned it up in front of my desk. By looking at it daily, I’m hoping it will keep me on track.

And remember that, if all else fails and you fall off the wagon, don’t beat yourself up and give up the ghost until next New Year. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get back to your plan.


Happy New Year everyone!

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Phyllis Stylianou

Phyllis Stylianou is a journalist with 35 years’ experience as a reporter, sub-editor and editor. Writing is the great love of her life (after her family) – as is renovating old homes and building new ones (which she’s embarking on again!) So writing about everything to do with building, renovating and gardening is her passion.

The opinions expressed in this article are the opinions of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Homeloans Ltd.