Are your Resolutions SMART? (part 2)

Last time, I introduced the idea that we don’t just have to have SMART goals we have to BE SMART about goals.

We know at this point that SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable(attainable), Reasonable (Realistic) and time-bounded.

But I believe that the BE is missing.

B is our Because, our why. What is it? For more, jump back to the last post then return here.

E is our Energy. How powerful is our why? What energy is blocking us like a self-imposed force field? How do we respond to everyday stimulus and how do we respond under stress? Remember: There is no Scotty to beam us up when that happens.

We have all had those days when we needed a nap, or to settle on the couch with a good book or a binge-worthy series on TV. That is our body and mind needing a recharge. We only have so much brainpower and will power. It is perfectly normal.

The energy I want to talk about is the energy that underpins your leadership.

We are all leaders. We lead at work (even if we are not the “boss”), in our families (even if we are not a parent), in our social interactions, in our social media.  But most of all we lead OURSELVES.

In another post, I talked about catabolic and anabolic energy. Catabolic energy is deconstructive.  It is that energy that leads to Eeyore syndrome (why bother) or the blame game (“they” did this to me). In essence, it is a feeling of helplessness when change is needed.  Anabolic is empowering, it sees the bigger picture and takes nothing personally. From Level 1 (lowest catabolic) to Level 7 (highest anabolic) is a spectrum of energetic responses. We all experience ALL of them to one degree or another sometimes all in the same day. When we are under stress everyone’s energetic profile shifts to a different often lower level. But what if it didn’t?

Energy is important in goal achievement.  If we have our why, then it is logical we want to take action. Our actions can be modified by how we respond to the challenge of a goal under normal circumstances and under stress.

Energy awareness and conscious strategies to recognize and choose to respond at a higher level can improve our success in goal achievement and in life.

It can help us BE SMART about goals.

The Energy Leadership Index Assessment (E.L.I.) and debrief with a coach is a powerful beginning to self-awareness and goal achievement.  To read more about the E.L.I and Debrief and how you can schedule one click to our Services tab here.

Not sure if the E.L.I. or coaching is for you, email me to set up your complimentary discovery session.

BE SMART and Make It Happen.



Are your Resolutions Really Smart?

Happy New Year!! New Year, New You… Resolution Time.

How many of us in that week before New Year’s Day, set resolutions or resolved not to set any resolutions because after all it won’t stick?

How many kept last year’s resolutions or even remember them?

We all have done it.

Yet the New Year, the changing of the calendar, the ball dropping, wishes for a better next year bring visions of the future and what we would like it to be. Wall calendar

Webster’s Dictionary defines resolution as “something that is resolved” (definition 3). It echoes definition 1 which includes the act or process of resolving, such as the act of analyzing a complex notion into simpler ones

 So, resolutions are about ideas.  I’m going to lose 30 pounds, read 60 books, learn the piano, find the love of my life.  Simple statements that hide complex notions. But all are about taking a great you and making you even better.

We cannot just think or wish these things into being. It may begin with the thought and the feeling but…

What we really want are outcomes…. results.

Will I meet the love of my life sitting on my couch? (Online only relationships do not qualify as the love of your life)

Will I lose 30 pounds sitting on my couch. Unless I never get up to eat and that’s called starvation.

I might read 60 books sitting on that couch if I have them handy or on an e-reader app and turn off the TV.

blindfold-target-261928430-ss-1920You’ve all heard of SMART goals.





Time-bounded (deadline)

We have all made a resolution at New Year’s or during the year… weight, job, smoking, relationships, self-improvement and at one time or another didn’t keep them.

Why? What are we missing? Were our SMART goals not smart enough? Let’s look at the ever-popular New Year’s lose weight resolution.

Let’s suppose we each resolve to lose 30 pounds. It’s specific with respect to weight and measurable (assuming we have a scale). Depending on our starting and our ending point, we will work on the assumption that it is reasonable (healthy).  It is probably attainable if it is reasonable.  It does lack being time-bounded.

Let’s refine it by saying we will lose the weight by Memorial Day weekend and that the time frame is reasonable.

We start that diet on January 2.  We eat the right stuff, join a gym and go every day to start. And just like last year, many of us drift back to status quo. By March, we feel guilty about that new gym membership that we pay for but don’t use.

Why did our SMART goal not work?

I believe the answer to that is that we must BE SMART.


Because. We must BE clear on our WHY. We are making a resolution, looking for an outcome, Because we want……. What?  question mark

We must get clarity around what we value and what is important to us. Is it connection, freedom, beauty, fitness, respect, fun, family, self-esteem or a combination of value words? The ones here are just a few possibilities. You can fill in your own or if you’d like a longer list to think on, email me at


Whatever future we might envision, we must have clarity about what we value so that we can create a future that aligns with those values and set the right goals to achieve it.

Write down 3-5 values words that resonant the most with you. How does your resolution/goal align with any of those words? Share in the comments below.

Once there is clarity about the Because, then action can begin.

Results require action. Real results require planned sustained actions.  That requires the other part of BE.


Next time I’ll discuss ENERGY and its part in engagement, focus and  energy falters.




The Only Thing Certain is…. YOU

I must not fear. Fear is the mind killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.

~~~ Frank Herbert


The only thing certain is change.  We hear it and nod in agreement. But when it arrives, we sometimes curl up in a ball or deny its existence. We often resist change in either obvious or subtle ways. That is human inertia

Inertia is the tendency to of an object to resist any change in motion or direction. In the physical world, it is why your groceries fly off the back seat when you hit the brakes too forcefully. The car has stopped its forward motion, but the groceries have not.  Your cell phone flies off the dashboard when you hit the gas because the car is moving but the phone is not.

So, we and, more importantly, our thoughts and therefore our actions are subject to inertia. Our jobs or relationships are moving in the wrong direction (too much stress, too little pay, long hours, …), yet we stay in the same job or relationship. We find all kinds of reasons (read excuses).  I have bills to pay. Or, my favorite, better the devil you know than the devil you don’t. Fear creates inertia.

I once worked for a company that had an extremely toxic environment.  They had acquired my employer. Having been there for many years and being a good networker, I had acquaintances in a broad number of locations. I heard the same complaints from many of them. They told me they hated coming to work, it was impacting their health, and their families. When I asked what they were going to do about it, I heard many of the statements I listed above. Some are still with this company and still unhappy.

miserable man

I agreed with their complaints. But, unlike them, I began looking for options outside that employer. Little did I know at the time that coming from this employer was not a feather in your cap.  But finally, I had had enough, my health, my relationships and, most importantly, my integrity were suffering. I resigned.

I had no new job and the word on the street was that this employer would challenge your unemployment claim if your resigned so “don’t bother applying”. So, I took a part-time job at a local supermarket slicing cold cuts.  Some people in my life were astounded… two masters degrees and you are doing this?

But I had to DO something until I found something. I could not let fear of change keep me in a toxic job. I could not let fear of what other people thought keep me stalled. When things are in a bad place, having and executing a plan keeps me focused and positive.

Fear is natural and understandable. It is human instinct that allowed our ancestors to survive by recognizing a threat to our existence. In our ancestor’s brain fear triggered a fight or flight response. When faced with a threat (a large raging carnivore or angry human), it heightened their awareness so that they could instantaneously decide if the threat could be fought and defeated or should they exit rapidly to fight another day.

Modern man cannot just club another human over the head (at least not without serious legal consequences) and it is difficult to physically run from a modern threat. So instead, we may internalize the fear response, over and over again. It becomes the voice in our head that keeps us frozen in place, the mind killer.  It becomes the inner critic, the Gremlin, that whispers:

“Why try, it won’t work.”

“People will laugh at you, if you do _______”

“If you want someone to like/love you, you won’t do that.”

We are often too close it to see the Gremlin.

If we are going to truly live the life we want, have the fulfillment and success we want, we must break past the fear, the inner voice that says stop.   Are you ready to take yourself or your business to the next level? Are you at a crossroads and feel something is holding you back?

cheering woman

Have you been there? Are you there now? Share in Comments