2011 – I may not be SMART but I might have FUN….

I read on Yahoo News this morning that the way to ensure you stick to New Year’s Resolutions is to ensure that they are, in management-speak, SMART. Having spent years in strategy development and research this is a term that is all too familiar to me. It is vital to include it in a planning document, but even as you write against the rather patronising acronym the tasks necessary to achieve your goals you get the sinking feeling that you are simply wasting your time.

For those who wish to remain blissfully unaware of what SMART stands for, look away now…

Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely

Now, I am sure there are many very successful people out there who swear by this process. But for me, that is just what it is – a process. When making New Year’s Resolutions I for one cannot look at the next year in those terms. Who knows what is round the corner? How can you plan to change the way you behave or set yourself a goal for the year in so rigid a way in these uncertain times anyway? What about all those immeasurable things – family; happiness; love; a delicious meal; the pleasure derived from a bar of Lindt chocolate…

So therein lies a rather stuffy route to certain disappointment. The year goes too quickly; our health and finances are often too fragile and other people are frequently reluctant to fit in with our plans.

So – I have decided that I might lose a bit of weight; I might get a lot fitter; I might spend less on books (unlikely); I might stop worrying all the time (very unlikely); I might do more housework (hrmmmm..). I sincerely hope I do get to the end of this year having achieved those things. But I have decided that in 2011 I am not going to measure the success or otherwise of my resolve. No targets, no plans, no disappointment in myself, no feeling of failure if these things are not achieved. As long as I am still well and still HERE I will be thankful. Life is hard enough sometimes without being our own greatest critics after all.

So I vote FUN.

Living life Fully, being Uncomplicated and Naked, no sorry – scrub the last one (though it could be fun – roll on summer). I mean New, seeking the pleasure in even the smallest things as I go and embracing opportunities that offer themselves; being more flexible, less fearful and more spontaneous. I will do all these things whilst trying to be the best person I can. All very difficult things to measure on the SMART-o-meter.

So (and acknowledging these may not sound fun to everybody) – some examples of things I have on my list of FUN resolutions:

1) Pursue my interest in history, regardless of the level of expertise I can reach. Regretting that my degree is in the ‘wrong’ subject is no reason not to go off in a different direction.

2) Continue to pester my readers into appreciating the life and works of John Keats whether they like it or not. He inspires me so may inspire others.

3) Take regular trips up to London to research my family history, even though I have to go by myself. Who knows what awaits me? Well I do actually – I lived there for 25 years after all, so what is the big deal?

4) Walk more, write more, photograph more, and live more. (No pressure there then..)

And of course I want to continue blogging. I may not get on the lists of any management gurus on twitter or Facebook. I am certain my new acronym won’t make it into any presentations by life-coaches but I hope that my readers will stick with me, so we can all enjoy the ups and inevitable downs of 2011 together. And I would be really interested in what you would have on your list.

I may be random, but I hope I can be FUN. Thanks for reading!

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15 Responses to 2011 – I may not be SMART but I might have FUN….

  1. Rin says:

    Love it, here’s to a FUN 2011!

  2. Oh I feeling uplifted and inspired after reading your blog – thank you! Looking for pleasure in the littlest things must be the most joyous way to live – I am going to do it!
    Happy New Year! x

  3. wurzelmeone says:

    I couldn’t agree more, this quote from an Edward Monkton birthday card that I recieved last year sums up the way I like to live: ‘Who needs to be SENSIBLE and dull when worlds of HAPPY CHAOS lie in wait!!’

  4. Ros Bott says:

    A very refreshing post – I really like this.

    As an ex-life coach, I have to admit that I did advocate the SMART model – but I have come to believe that spontaneity, living in the moment and following your instincts can be far more effective. Planning is fine – but I think it’s possible to over-plan and get obsessed about it.

    So – I agree – throw out the life plans and do what feels good!

    Happy 2011!

    • keatsbabe says:

      Thank you! It is good to know that someone who knows something about life coaching thinks there might be something in the idea :-) A happy 2011 to you too!

  5. Jamie knight says:

    Hiya suzie,

    Interesting post, personally I feel smart goals have their place in work, I don’t really see them as something of use for my personal life. For my personal life I prefer to see what life brings, it part of why I’m self employed rather than locked into a job. I get to take on projects which interest me and I can be motivated for… Something which smart completely ignores.

    As for london, I’m constantly heading backwards and forwards to the city (I have an addiction to the natural history and science museum i also have a number of clients there) if you wanted to get together to do the coach / train before going our separate ways then traveling back together that evening that would be fun.

    Here’s to a great 2011!

    Cheers,

    Jamie + Lion

  6. zanyzigzag says:

    I love this blog!
    Have been thinking that I should perhaps get some decent NYRs down and start some serious self-improvement, but don’t particularly want to and to be honest, my NYR list is more like a to-do list anyway – visit Africa, go see QI being filmed…it’s all about the fun stuff! :) I could say: “Well Africa will always be there, so there’s no hurry”, but you know what? Africa might always be there, but I know for definite that I won’t be – I may not even be here tomorrow! So I think it better to cram in as many Fun, Unique and New things as possible, so that when the sand does eventually run out, I can say that I used up every tiny grain in making the most of the time that I had :)

  7. keatsbabe says:

    Ooh like ‘unique’ instead of uncomplicated. Rather different ideas but equally appealing…

  8. Kirrily says:

    Hello, what a great post to introduce me to your blog. I love the FUN model! Planning and me parted ways (for the most part) a few years ago ;) I think “Now” instead of “New” might also have its place in that model, as I hope to live more in the moment of each moment than hurry it along or wish it away without seeing the organic beauty of getting the significance of whatever moment I find myself in. Followed you over from Marketing To Milk’s blog. Hope you don’t mind the cheerio!

    • keatsbabe says:

      Thanks Kirrily! Good of you to come over here! ‘Now’ is a great idea. Everone can have their own interpretation I guess. Hope 2011 is a good one for you and yours. :-)

  9. sonofwalt says:

    Haha, and I was just working my way up to finally making my new year’s post.Thanks for the added inspiration.

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