Archive for Goals

2013 is a brand new year and thankfully the Mayans were wrong. As is a tradition every new year, people are wanting to change their ways, from diets and fitness to how they handle their work and personal schedules in hopes of being a trimmer, fitter, better organized and all around better person. To help get things moving in the right direction this year I’m going to be doing more, shorter posts on ways you can increase your efficiency both in and out of AutoCAD. These things may cause you to change your ways, but hey change is good! In the end, if you follow through you’ll be more efficient.

I myself am constantly looking for ways to spend less time doing any kind of process. By spending less time, I do not mean taking shortcuts – the end result must be equal to or better than the original in quality. In this constant effort to shorten my time requirements and multitask I must still maintain quality in whatever I do.

An example of one thing that I do to be more efficient is in how I write my posts. The majority of my posts are now written while I’m doing other things, like shaving, dressing for work or actually on the drive-in to work. It may seem like it could get messy or even be unsafe, but it actually works out great. I use voice recognition software on my smart phone and dictate in to a note app. I can either email myself the articles or login to the Cloud and finish the editing there before I post it (as I am doing right now). Thanks to the accuracy of the recognition software my editing time is reduced drastically and I am able to do two things at once. This also allows me t be spontaneous about my thoughts on an article or blog post.

Another area where I spend a lot of time, as i am sure you do as well is AutoCAD. Being efficient in AutoCAD is paramount for Architectural and Engineering design firms that use it. We produce drawings to communicate our ideas and designs to clients, reviewers and ultimately to the actual builders. In a business, profits are the key to survival, and you make profits by being able to produce a desired product quickly and efficiently. And no – quickly and efficiently are not the same. In this production process, speed alone is not what makes us efficient.

As an AutoCAD designer or even a regular CADD technician, profits may not be the first thing on your mind. But keep in mind profits are what pay your wages, your bonuses and any other perks you might receive. The more profitable your company is the better you (should) do. By doing your work more efficiently, you create shorter production times which translate ultimately in to more profits. So how do we go about being more efficient? In the next post “Macro Mania” , I’m going talk about about an old AutoCAD customization tool called toolbar macros and how they can automate many of the steps you do every day. These tools will reduce the time you spend doing manual steps, and in the process, increase your accuracy – increasing your productivity and efficiency.



Are you a current member of AUGI (Autodesk User Group International)? If not, you may want to consider joining as there is a bunch of good info waiting for you at your finger clicks.  If you are not familiar with the group, you may ask what it’s all about.

“AUGI is the Autodesk User Group International, officially recognized by Autodesk as representing the Autodesk user community. AUGI has two prime directives. The first is to assist its members by presenting programs and information that will enhance their use of Autodesk products. The second is to deliver the voice of the user community to Autodesk, thus assisting Autodesk in product development and giving users a say in the process.”

The above comes from the ‘About‘ page of the AUGI website.


  • Online/Email HotNews: a monthly newsletter sent to all AUGI members via email that includes technical columns, information on industry events  and product offerings from Autodesk and third party vendors.
  • Online and printed AUGI World (printed will depend on membership level) covering topics about CAD Management, add-on’s, Tips & Tricks, and more. interviews, user stories, Technical Tips & Tricks, Training advice, AUGI events and announcements and more.
  • User Forums: a great resource for solving your Autodesk product issues, getting product information, and sharing your own knowledge and experiences. There are a wide variety of products and topics in the forums which are monitored and manged by AUGI volunteers.  Access level depends on membership level – your welcome to lurk (browse) as a guest, but to post you will need at least a basic membership.
  • Wishlist:  Ever had a cool idea you wish Autodesk would add in to the product you use every day – here is your chance to make it happen.

Membership costs:

AUGI currently has a four membership levels that run from Free (non-member open access), basic at $0, Premier at $25/year and Professional at $100/year.  The Professional membership has the most benefits (hence the cost),  but the Premier is also a good investment.  When you think about getting answers from other professionals about issues you are currently experiencing OR learning more for personal career development, the $2 to $10 a month is a very good investment.  You may even be able to get your company to fund it for you – after all you are helping them out with the info and troubleshooting help you will be through AUGI.

I have been a AUGI member for years and currently contribute articles to AUGI world.  I got my start after being involved with a local user group (TBAUG) back in the 80’s and then joined NAUG (North American Autodesk User group), which eventually became the AUGI we have today.

Are you a member already?  Thinking about it? Time to get your new year started right and get your AUGI membership now!

Got any questions about AUGI? – drop me an email.



While reviewing an E-News Letter  recently from our Autodesk vendor I came across an interesting link in their featured Blog posts that took me to an Autodesk help site. Here I found a help series labeled “The Hitchhikers Guide to AutoCAD“.  Now if you are new to AutoCAD or have been a long time circle and line jock, but not much on more advanced features, this might be a good spot to start your climb.  This does not by any means have the info to make you an advanced Rock Star AutoCAD user, but if there is one or more areas that you have not ventured in to, like  creating your own Blocks, using Paper Space, using multileaders or Mtext, in lieu of the old Dtext that so many still use, these are straightforward, easy to understand  mini-tutorials on how to so these things.

Below is a basic capture of the home screen and the cool graphic that they use.

Welcome to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to AutoCAD—your guide to the basic 42 commands you need to create 2D drawings using modern AutoCAD or AutoCAD LT.

This guide is a great place to get started if you just completed your initial training, or to refresh your memory if you only use AutoCAD occasionally. As you can see from the illustration, the 42 commands are grouped together according to types of activity. In addition, these groups are arranged sequentially to follow a typical workflow.

  1. Basics: Review the basic ways to control AutoCAD.
  2. Viewing: Pan and zoom in a drawing, and control the order of overlapping objects.
  3. Geometry: Create basic geometric objects such as lines, circles, and solid-filled areas.
  4. Precision: AutoCAD provides several features to ensure the precision required for your models.
  5. Layers and Properties: Organize your drawing by assigning objects to layers, and by assigning properties such as color and linetype to objects.
  6. Modifying: Perform editing operations such as erase, move, and trim on the objects in a drawing.
  7. Blocks: Insert symbols and details into your drawings from commercial online sources or from your own designs.
  8. Layouts: Display one or more scaled views of your design on a standard-size drawing sheet called a layout.
  9. Notes and Labels: Create notes, labels, bubbles, and callouts. Save and restore style settings by name.
  10. Dimensions: Create several types of dimensions and save dimension settings by name.
  11. Printing: Save and restore the printer settings for each layout. Output a drawing layout to a printer, a plotter, or a file.

Link:  The Hitchhikers Guide to AutoCAD

If you are new to AutoCAD or a casual user, I highly recommend you check this out!

Once you have checked it out and let me know what you think!


Change Your Attitude

And Change your life!

What is attitude? Let’s start by looking at some definitions:
1. manner, disposition, feeling, position, etc., with regard to a person or thing; tendency or orientation, especially of the mind: a negative attitude; group attitudes.
2. position or posture of the body appropriate to or expressive of an action, emotion, etc.: a threatening attitude; a relaxed attitude.

Merrium Webster
1. the arrangement of the parts of a body or figure : posture
2. a position assumed for a specific purpose

Although attitude can be expressed in a body position, as stated above in both definitions, I think most people look at attitude as a verbal or physical behavior, one that goes deeper than a posture.

How many times as a child have your heard or as an adult have you said: “I don’t like your attitude” or “If you plan on going anywhere, you better change your attitude!”. I’m pretty sure I have heard it and said it many times and the reality of the second statement it is that it’s so true.

One of my favorite quotes:

Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.
– Winston Churchill

Attitude is a choice, it is not something we inherit nor is it something we are stuck with, but it can be contagious – both positive and negative. Motivators, mentors, coaches and friends all encourage us to ‘think positive’, don’t dwell on the negative. Often times these are just statements made to change our current mindset – our attitude, and sometimes it comes with reasons and suggestions on how to do it. I’m no expert on recommending methods to change your attitude, I just know its something we all deal with on a regular basis and it’s something we all can control.

We all know the eternal optimists around us, the super positive, glass is half full, sky is always blue and when it isn’t – every cloud has a silver lining. We also know the naysayers, the doom and gloomers, the life’s a $#%* and then you die and the forever Christmas Grinches. Both can be annoying at times because life just isn’t always that cut and dry and most of us tend live in the world between. But, given the choice of being stuck on an island with one or the other, we’ll choose the optimist every time.

If I’m going to be surrounded by others or share my precious time with anyone, I want it to be positive, don’t you? So, if this is what we prefer, doesn’t it make sense that we be positive ourselves? After all who is going to want to be around us if we’re always negative? In reality, ‘always’ is probably not a fair statement, but what side of the spectrum do you tend to fall on?

Being a person of positivity with your friends and family is not all there is to having a good attitude, it is in fact just one part of it. How do you approach disagreements, financial upsets, last-minute changes of schedules, rude customers, etc? Often times maintaining a good attitude has a lot to do with how flexible and open-minded you are. Seeing both sides of an argument or opinion, putting the shoe on the other foot, walking in the other person’s shoes, etc… These are all examples of looking at life from more than one point of view. If you are too rigid in your beliefs and behaviors how can you take something seemingly negative and turn it in to a positive? Note that when I say ‘beliefs’, I do not mean ‘faith’, as that is a positive thing in itself. Having strong faith is often what allows us to remain positive through all types of adversity.

If I had to give some recommendations to help one achieve a better attitude it would be to change how you deal with adversity, stress and disappointment. Our attitude has a lot to do with how we see the world and how we perceive each event that happens in our life.

  • Don’t hang on to anger – forgive when you can, move on when you can’t
  • Think before you speak (more…)
  • Be open-minded – there is always more than one way to do things (more…)
  • When feeling anxious or stressed, calm yourself – Take deep breaths: inhale while counting to three and exhale while counting to six.
  • Consider others feelings, not just your own (more…)
  • Don’t hang around negative people (if more people walked away from angry, negative people it might eventually get them to rethink their attitude)

Our attitude affects our friendships, our personal relationships and our careers, a good attitude often determines how successful we are in all these areas. Life is not black and white, there is a lot of grey and that grey just may be the silver lining we are missing.


Leaders are Readers

I have heard this statement made many times over the years from various well-known motivators, including Jim Rohn, John Maxwell, Earl Shoaff, and Dave Ramsey.

“Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.” – Harry S. Truman

Reading is a great way to increase your knowledge on a variety of topics, from Aardvarks to Zymurgy and everything in between.  Some people claim they don’t have time for reading nor do they need to – they value street smarts over book-smarts.  Although street smarts definitely come in handy, for most of the world, life happens in offices, cubicles, conference rooms, living rooms and a myriad of other places where having more than just street smarts is critical.  So, unless you’re goal is to live on the streets you’re going to want to add some book smarts to your knowledge banks.  I don’t recall hearing (or reading about) many successful doctors, lawyers, or business men and women that got where they are by not cracking open a few books – and often far more than a few.  Most successful people in the world today obtained a lot of their knowledge from books.  If it is important enough to remember or share it ends up in book.  Of course now days it may also end up in a Website, Blog or E-paper.

I read all types of materials including the above various formats as well books on kindle, I books and an occasional newspaper or periodical.  There is so much available reading material, that I quite often will get reading overload with a stack of unread printed articles and books waiting for my attention.  My thirst for knowledge does not end up with just reading though.  Modern technology has brought us a multitude of audio options that include audio books, iTunes, YouTube, and seminars on DVD and CD.  I often have trouble finding a place where I can sit and stay focused without exterior distractions long enough to watch a DVD, so I will RIP the audio to mp3s to listen to when I have time, like while driving, at the gym, bike rides or walks.  My book shelf on Shelfari is full of a variety of my favorite non-fiction topics for learning as well as some sci-fi and mystery for my entertainment reading.  Unfortunately many of these books are on my ‘Plan to Read’ section which gets bigger every week.   Add to this, that it seems as I am getting older, I am finding I desire to read even more.  My quest for knowledge is seemingly unquenchable – I have realized though that focusing is critical.  So, this year, as part of my resolutions I finally decided to take a more organized approach to my reading and develop a reading plan.  My reading plan for 2012 has topics based on things I desire to learn more about and backup for things I blog about.  Currently I have 16 books in my plan to read by the end of this year with a minimum goal of 12.  This may be tough considering all the other non-book reading that I do regularly, but I will see how it goes and adjust next year’s plan accordingly.

Although I have been a reader my whole life, my reading has typically been technical books,  periodicals, websites and e-papers on an as needed basis for school or work.  Developing a reading plan has never been a focus in the past, so I had to do some research.  Someone out there has got to have already worked this out, so I figured I would start with Google and see where it got me.

From various sources, I put together the following guide for creating a Reading Plan:

A good starting point for any reading plan is to know how many books you intend on reading during the course of your plan.  Since developing a reading plan is a form of a goal, you can apply the SMART goals process to it.  If you already know your topics, list them out (specific), by setting a time frame and a quantity of books, your reading can be ‘measured’.  Do you want to read one book a month or one every two weeks, are the books novels or short stories, consider this when setting your final quantity to determine what level is going to be truly ‘attainable’.  Be ‘realistic’ – you know your schedule and current reading habits, and you probably want to push it a bit unless you are already an avid reader but just need a plan.  Establish a time frame for your reading plan; ‘3 months, over the summer’, 6 months, or a year – this gets a committed time frame in place.  Keep in mind that is not critical if you read all the books you have on your list, but having a SMART plan should get you well on your way to your ultimate  reading goal.


Depending on the ultimate goal of your reading plan like general knowledge, specific topics or just additional reading you may have only a few or you may have many topics.  The wider the variety, the broader your knowledge will become.

Common Topics / Categories:

  • Leadership
  • Management
  • Money & Finance
  • General Business
  • Spiritual Growth
  • Health and Fitness
  • Personal Growth
  • Fun / Entertainment


If you do not have a specific topic/category you are trying to grow in, this is the step where you can list books that you may be interested in reading.  Start with books you may already own but have not read, ask friends for recommendations, check out books mentioned in magazines, blogs or newsletter articles.  Check out lists of bestsellers on Amazon, Barnes and Nobles or your favorite local book store.  Another good resource is Shelfari.  Setup a Free account and start researching.

Here you want to start sifting through your brainstorm list and picking the most important ones you wish to read. Your goal is to end up with a list that is equal to about 75% of the total number of books you want to read during the upcoming year (or remainder of the year). I have seen where individuals will have anywhere from 6 to 24 books a year and some even more.  That may seem like a lot books to you if you’re not already an avid reader.  You may be surprised with just how many books you can actually read.  Also keep in mind that as your time frame passes, you may find even more books that you wish to add.

Record your Completed Books:
Once you have the plan in place you can start a list of all of the books you have completed. I keep my list in Shelfari.  I can actually put my ‘Read’, ‘Plan to Read’, etc.. and when your finished reading your books, you can actually include notes and ratings.

Keep track of Other Books to Read:
Throughout the year you will naturally hear about other books that you may like to read. You need to develop a system to keep track of books that you are interested in.  I use my Amazon Wish list for this which I can share with others around my birthday and holidays. : )

Below is a blank form I used to summarize  my categories and create my final reading plan.

Reading Plan

It is important that you get reading, so get your reading plan started today.



The last two posts were on the topic of “The Time for Change” – Part I and Part II, this post is about the ‘need’ for change. Is change necessary? Yes – change is good for everyone whether an individual or an organization and for many reasons. Let’s start by thinking of the simple and often taken for granted process of New Years resolutions. It is pretty easy to set resolutions at New Year’s Eve, in fact it is often expected that the majority of people do. How many times have you had people ask you near the end of each year or right after the new year what your new years resolutions were. And although this process of having new years resolutions has become a habit, how many people have actually determined that they have a true need to make a resolution to make a change? I have heard many individuals comment that they plan to make their new years resolution to “quite smoking”, “drink less”, lose weight” or starting taking better care of themselves or a partner – but they say this throughout the year, long before December rolls around. So during the year, people make resolutions to make resolutions later. So why in July do people choose to wait until New Years to make a resolution to change? First off they do not feel the the urgency to change and change is hard. Resolutions are made because people know that their actions, habits, priorities, etc. are not serving them in the way they need to, but they are accustomed to doing them. Change takes work and there has to be something that drives the internal desire or need to actually go through with the work required to make the change.

“If you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got.” — High-tech proverb

Resolutions, whether on New Years or any time, are all born from something that is requiring a change. This can be an outside force such as a an ultimatum from a boss or spouse, or an internal force like a desire for personal growth or a change in environment. The need for change happens with both individuals and organizations. Below are a few examples of situations or events from each that could drive the need for change:


  • Stalled Career
  • Overweight Out of shape
  • Lonely
  • Depression
  • No Job
  • Financially Issues
  • Loss of Spiritual Faith


  • Unmotivated staff
  • High Employee Turnover
  • Over-worked
  • Project Deadline Issues
  • Product Quality Issues
  • Loss of work/customers
  • Financial Issues

The above lists of items are all negative by nature, situations and events that we would not typically want to continue. Even so, the individual or organization must truly see and desire the need to change in order to make it happen and to do this the individual (individuals in the case of an organization) must act. My fiancé and I recently attended a group coaching session held by Carrie Charles of ‘Design My Life Coaching‘ and a lot of the things that I’ve discussed in my previous posts were brought up, including SMART goals, having priorities, setting time lines, etc. but even with all that if we do not follow through and take action, it is nothing more than a well crafted plan – a dream.

Maybe the need is realized, the plan is created with goals, time lines and and action steps, but you cannot get it started. Maybe you get it started, but you stop or postpone it. You know you need it, you want it, you just get side-tracked, busy, tired, frustrated or any other form of road block that keeps you from moving forward with the required changes. You need help.

As I mentioned near the end of my last post there is a multitude of resources available in books and online that can get you going. Below are just a few resources you may need to consider, some of which I have utilized myself.

No more Mondays – (book)

What Color is your Parachute? – (book)

Manager Tools

MindTools –

Organize Tasks/ToDo Lists and Goals: Toodledo – (Website/App)


Dave Ramsey (website/App/Books) A site to help you track and manage your finances – and it’s FREE.

Health and Fitness:

Daily Burn – (website/App) –

Good to Great – (book)

Manager Tools


Business coaching and Life coaching have become big business in the last few years, and there is a reason for it – it works. Many people and businesses have the resources and intelligence to be very successful but somehow can’t seem to make the next step or sustain their momentum. Business coaches, Life Coaches and Financial advisors provide the motivation, additional experience and accountability that many of us need.

Design My Life
Be sure to sign up for the “Free 7 Step Program

Financial Advisor



An App is available for smart phones as well as an online site where you can create bible reading plans. (I am currently doing the Essential Jesus 100 day reading plan).

Growth or Small Groups:

Within many progressive churches, the traditional Bible Studies have been supplemented with small organized groups of 8 to 25 people that meet once a week for short periods of time (usually 6 – 10 weeks) to cover topics of relevant personal, social and cultural significance. The groups provide healthy social interaction and spiritual growth. Our church is currently getting started on their Spring Term groups, see here for additional information. I have personally participated in multiple groups over the last couple years, including leading and co-hosting. If your church offers such groups, I highly recommend you get involved, if you are not currently attending a church or your church does not off them, check out the groups offered at

Free Motivation / Inspiration:

YouTube – Do a search for motivation speakers like:

Tony Robbins
Jim Rohn
Zig Zeigler

Education / Tutoring:

Khan University:
A highly rated video education site that has a wealth of online easy to watch videos on everything from Astronomy and Biology to trigonometry and Venture Capitol.

The Need for change is obvious, the Time for change is now, the Tools for change are available – It’s time to Act!


In my last post I  talked about change as it related to New Years resolutions, in this post, I am going to discuss some tips that you can use to make sure you are successful.    You may be saying that we are already part way through January, why are you telling me this now? – I already did my resolutions.   This provides a chance to look at how you’re doing so far, make some course corrections if necessary and keep you motivated to follow your resolutions.   The fact of the matter is any time we ‘resolve’ to make a change we are making a resolution, so resolutions can happen any time of year not just at New Year’s.  If you want  or need to make changes in your life – don’t wait until next December 31st – make them now.  No matter when you make them, January, February, June or July, do it in such a way that you will succeed by thinking, planning and then executing your plan wisely and consistently.  Whether you have started off on New Year’s resolutions or just change in general any time of the year consider the following tips to help you resolve to change.

Ways to be successful:

  • Know yourself
  • Limit resolutions
  • Prioritize
  • Use SMART Goals
  • Get Help

Know yourself:

You know yourself better than anyone, you know whether you are a morning or a night person, what you enjoy doing, what you hate doing, what motivates you, and what things distract you – many of these things others may not even know about you.  When setting your resolutions, think about these various personal traits as they may be keys to your future success and to reasons for past failings.  For instance, if you know your not a morning person, are you going to set a resolution to be at the gym at 5:30am three days a week?  You may be able to change some old habits, but some are just not so easy to change.  By resolving to go to the gym at 5:30am you are now trying to change two things at once that are not normal habits; getting up early and going to workout – your setting this one up for failure.  If you believe that getting up early and hitting the gym is necessary because it is the only time you have free in your schedule, then start out by breaking the early morning issue first.   Get up 15 minutes earlier each day for a couple of weeks then, 30 minutes, then 45 minutes, etc. until you have reached your required time to get to and work out at the gym.  Maybe for the first couple of months while you’re getting up earlier each day, use this time to do  a brief walk in your neighborhood.  Eventually you will be up early enough to hit the gym and you will have already started conditioning your body for exercise.  Keep in mind – you do not get fit and lose weight in a couple of weeks, if your goal is to lose weight, get fit, and stay fit it will take some time to establish these new habits.  Do not rush and do not give up – use slow and steady.

Proverbs 21:5 The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.

Limit Resolutions:

If you’re like me, you have a long list of things you want to accomplish, but most of these are “To Do” type items and are not actually “Resolution” list worthy.  If you add too many things to your resolutions list or add things that are not resolution worthy, you minimize the importance of the things that really need to be your focus and create what feels like an huge burden.  When you set too many goals, it is very easy to get overwhelmed and crack under the pressure.  It’s pretty easy to say “I’m in over my head, I’ll never accomplish this resolution – because I have too many other things to do!”  So the first step is to limit what resolutions you really can accomplish and then determine the order of importance.  This is where realistic time planning and prioritization come in.  Start by making a list of things you want to accomplish and split them in to what you believe are realistic time frames.  It may be that not all the things we want to accomplish can be done in one year, but don’t let that stop you from setting up a long-term plan.  More of this is covered in the SMART goals section below.  Sort your list of desired accomplishments into immediate (short-term goals), annual or bi-annual (mid-term), and future (long-term) use increments that best fit your goal’s realistic time lines.


Once you have a list of real resolutions with realistic time frames, you need to put them in order of importance or priority.  This may reduce your list down to an even more manageable load.  The important thing is to move forward – accomplishing a few things is far better than accomplishing nothing because your load is too great.  Think about what is most critical in your life over the next couple weeks, months and year and put them in that order.  Keep in mind that some things that you feel are very important might need a year to accomplish whereas less important things can be accomplished in a couple of months.  You can do the shorter time frame items now as long as you do what it takes to keep the longer term, more important items moving forward as well – work concurrently on both.

Use SMART Goals:

One way you can pull these previous ideas together is to utilize SMART goals.  Putting your resolutions in to practice requires a plan and a good way to set your plan in motion is to create solid goals.  Everyone will have slightly different goals as to what they want to achieve so everyone will have a slightly different plan.  SMART is an acronym used to define how to set up goals in order to give you a better chance of following through. When setting goals, there are some basic principles that should be used, these principles are referred to by the SMART acronym which means that your goals should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.

The following is a SMART definition that was found on the “Goal Setting Guide Website”.

S =Specific

Goals should be straightforward and emphasize what you want to happen. Specifics help us to focus our efforts and clearly define what we are going to do.

Specific is the What, Why, and How of the SMART model.

    • WHAT are you going to do? Use action words such as direct, organize, coordinate, lead, develop, plan, build etc.
    • WHY is this important to do at this time? What do you want to ultimately accomplish?
    • HOW are you going to do it? (By…)

Ensure the goals you set is very specific, clear and easy. Instead of setting a goal to lose weight or be healthier, set a specific goal to lose 2cm off your waistline or to walk 5 miles at an aerobically challenging pace.

M = Measurable

If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.  In the broadest sense, the whole goal statement is a measure for the project; if the goal is accomplished, then it is a success. However, there are usually several short-term or small measurements that can be built into the goal.

Choose a goal with measurable progress, so you can see the change occur. What will you see when you reach your goal? Be specific! “I want to read 3 books of 100 pages on my own before my birthday” shows the specific target to be measure. “I want to be a good reader” is not as measurable.

Establish concrete criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment of each goal you set. When you measure your progress, you stay on track, reach your target dates, and experience the exhilaration of achievement that spurs you on to continued effort required to reach your goals.

A = Attainable

When you identify goals that are most important to you, you begin to figure out ways you can make them come true. You develop that 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.

Goals you set which are too far out of your reach, you probably won’t commit to doing. Although you may start with the best of intentions, the knowledge that it’s too much for you means your subconscious will keep reminding you of this fact and will stop you from even giving it your best.

A goal needs to stretch you slightly so you feel you can do it and it will need a real commitment from you. For instance, if you aim to lose 20 lbs in one week, we all know that isn’t achievable. But setting a goal to lose 1 lb and when you’ve achieved that, aiming to lose a further 1 lb, will keep it achievable for you.

The feeling of success which this brings helps you to remain motivated.

R = Realistic

This is not a synonym for “easy.” Realistic, in this case, means “do-able.” It means that the learning curve is not a vertical slope; that the skills needed to do the work are available; that the project fits with the overall strategy and goals of the person/organization. A realistic project may push the skills and knowledge of the people working on it but it shouldn’t break them.

Devise a plan or a way of getting there which makes the goal realistic. The goal needs to be realistic for you and where you are at the moment. A goal of never again eating sweets, cakes, crisps and chocolate may not be realistic for someone who really enjoys these foods.

For instance, it may be more realistic to set a goal of eating a piece of fruit each day instead of one sweet item. You can then choose to work towards reducing the amount of sweet products gradually as and when this feels realistic for you.

Be sure to set goals that you can attain with some effort! Too difficult and you set the stage for failure, but too low sends the message that you aren’t very capable. Set the bar high enough for a satisfying achievement!

T = Timely

Set a timeframe for the goal: for next week, in three months, by fifth grade. Putting an end point on your goal gives you a clear target to work towards.

If you don’t set a time, the commitment is too vague. It tends not to happen because you feel you can start at any time. Without a time limit, there’s no urgency to start taking action now.

Time must be measurable, attainable and realistic.

Everyone will benefit from goals and objectives if they are SMART. SMART, is the instrument to apply in setting your goals and objectives.

Evaluate your list of goals and do a basic fine tuning of them based on whether or not they are “SMART”.  Once you have evaluated your goals based on the SMART principles, you will be able to put together a plan that has a much better chance of success.

Get Help:

If you make resolutions every year and it seems you rarely or never actually accomplish them, it may be time to get some help.  As previously mentioned, you know yourself better than most, and if you are truly honest with yourself you may come to the conclusion that you cannot do it alone.  Sometimes we just need a little push or we work better when we know we will be held accountable for what we say we are going to do.  For health and fitness type resolutions, sometimes a work-out buddy or a personal trainer will be what it takes to push you or keep you on track.  I know that for me personally, having a personal trainer has helped me get on track when starting a new exercise program.  Keep in mind that your accountability partner or trainer, if you go that route needs to know that you need to be pushed – good ones will do that.  If your resolutions are more personal, spiritual or business orientated, maybe a Life coach, Business Coach or mentor is what you need.  There are lots of coaches out there, and there are probably many individuals in your industry that would be honored to mentor you.  Sometimes outside accountability is not needed as you may be the type that beats yourself enough to keep you on point, but what you lack is the initial motivation to get going.  There are numerous books, videos, and websites that can be used to light the fire you need.  Whether its motivation, inspiration or accountability that you need to get your resolutions from paper in to practice, stop talking about it and as the famous foot wear company says – Just Do It!

When the year rolls around, you will look back and see the progress you made over the course of the previous year which will provide the motivation you need for the next year’s resolutions.

After all is said and done, a lot more will have been said than done.  ~Author Unknown

This is the Year of change, so I will be discussing a lot about it over the course of the year.  If change is hard for you, stick around, as we have a lot more to cover.


With the beginning of a new year, comes a surge of resolutions by people who want to be better physically, mentally, spiritually and financially. Year after year millions of individuals and companies make resolutions at the beginning of each year about what they plan to do to make that year better than the last, and year after year the majority of these resolutions never happen.

With individuals, often the resolutions are nothing more than a list of items on a piece of paper or a mental list of aspirations for the new year. These are basically lists of goals, but without a reason, a time line or the steps necessary to achieve them – no plan. Individuals serious about making changes can do it by setting goals, but they need to be SMART goals. SMART is an acronym used to define how to set up goals in order to give you a better chance of following through. When setting goals, there are some basic principles that should be used, these principles are referred to by the SMART acronym which means that your goals should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. I’ll get more in to that in a future post.

With companies, the desired changes are also many times similar to that of the individual’s lists, but often they are actually thought through and discussed with at least the management team. The level of discussion and thought process varies by company size and visionary ability of the companies’ leaders. The obstacle that companies or organizations face is that the changes that are desired and many times required involve more than the individual or group deciding on the change, it involves everyone that will be affected by the changes. This could mean a department, a division, the entire company, and even its suppliers and customers.

So why do so many resolutions made by companies and individuals never actually get completed? A few reasons are mentioned above like not creating SMART goals, no having a plan, lack of a clear vision, but the biggest obstacle that people face when trying to make the transition from what they are to what they have resolved to be is that they must “change”. Change?! Yes, change….

People fear change, it is a natural reaction. Why? Change requires us to adjust our routines, our thought processes, our habits, etc. Wait a minute – aren’t all these things the reason that changes are required? Yes it’s true, but the routines, habits, and thoughts that must change we’re developed over a long period of time and are now ingrained in our minds. We have become comfortable with these things and they are all ready to be called up when our lives get crazy busy and we kick in the autopilot to stay on course, or at least a course. Every course has a destination, is the destination you’re heading for the one you desire?

Unfortunately, it’s the autopilot that keeps us on the wrong course. To make a change, we need to start flying manually while the autopilot is re-programmed. This is where the hard work comes in, where we need to think about our decisions on meals, exercise, work schedule, educational and spiritual habits – anything that our autopilot used to handle. Re-programming requires testing, tweaking and testing some more to get the new course input. Once we see that the new course corrections are working, we can eventually start using the new autopilot to take us in the new direction we need to be going. This process takes time, energy and willpower, most resolutions fail by the end of the first month, but for those that can get through 6-8 weeks of these course corrections, they have a far greater chance of success.

When making your resolutions for this year, and yes – you can make them after December 31st, consider a few helpful thoughts:

  • You did not get where you are overnight nor will you change overnight.
  • Not all changes need to be big and immediate, consistency is the key.
  • Every course has a destination – make sure it’s where you want to end up.
  • Your Autopilot is what is currently keeping you off the course you want to be on – you need to re-program it.
  • Re-programming requires a new flight plan and your new flight plan starts with a vision of your desired destination.
  • Building you flight plan starts with SMART goals.

This may seem like a lot of time and work, but the reality is that you will gain back all the time invested and then some when the new or improved you arrives at the destination you truly desire.

In future posts, I’ll get more in to the process of change, the various methods of change and more on the importance of change.

Happy New Year!!