So, as I politely nudged my kids and spouse to participate in “my” annual New Year’s Resolution tradition, I started considering why they were always so hesitant in the first place. I couldn’t figure out why anyone would want to pass up an opportunity for a fresh start and reason to make positive changes. Sure, I know it’s just the 1st day of January, but it’s symbolic. It’s symbolic!
It didn’t take long for the obvious to occur to me. I started thinking about our resolutions and realized they’re the same each year. Despite using the SMART template for success, I’m still not working out three days a week, my son still has issues with focus during math class and my daughter is still biting her nails. What happened? We made sure our goals were specific, measurable, attainable (achievable), timely and relevant (realistic). We just failed on follow-through. We failed before we even got started.
To resolve this issue, I decided we needed something visual to represent what we wanted to accomplish. Maybe the problem with our resolution success is that we file away our intentions and go about the chaos of daily life and occasionally think about following up with things tomorrow. Today is never convenient.
Thankfully, I live in Florida. So, a trip to Home Depot wasn’t out of the question when I thought about linking the success of a potted plant with our goals. From what I can tell, plants are a great metaphor for what we’re trying to accomplish. For example, my six year old knows that we need to water our plant each day for a while until it gets established. Just like our resolutions, they require more effort to get started.
As time passes, the plant (and the habits we hope to change) will simply flourish as long as we are aware of them, appreciate them and give them the attention they need to thrive.
So, we planted this plant. And, we put it next to the window by the kitchen table. We gather there for meals, so it’s an ideal location for light and a prompt for daily discussion and support. Is it SMART? I like to think so, but time will tell.
Previous articles I’ve written related to SMART goals: