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The Men of Iron Minute

by Garret Barbush| President & CEO

Start S.M.A.R.T. in 2022

For many, a new year means new goals, new dreams and new desires. A new year gives opportunity to a fresh start. It gives opportunity to get back on the right track and to make things right. Personally, I love the new year. I love the idea of planning, goal setting and evaluating the previous year.

Success rates for new year resolutions are consistently low, with a high percentage of people sliding back into old habits by the time February hits. For the culture we live in, failure is the norm. As men, we prefer the path to least resistance. Being stretched, doing difficult things, being disciplined and living diligent lives is not what we prefer. Rather, we prefer instant gratification. Thus, mediocrity and failure is a standard most men settle for.
 
I have always made goals for the new year. While my goals were good, they often were focused on me — my career, my health, my finances, my hobbies. If I’m honest, the process of determining my goals was often self-centered and rarely involved other people in my life. In other words, there was very little accountability. There was no one to share my journey with, no one to celebrate with when a goal was accomplished and no one to encourage me to be creatively persistent when I got off track.
 
Below is a simple model to think about and apply to your own life as we start 2022 with a bang!
 
1. Use the 5F Model to determine your personal goals:
  • Faith
  • Family
  • Friends
  • Fitness
  • Finances
 
2. Get away. Don’t sit down and write out goals just for the sake of setting goals. Find space. Fight for quiet and solitude. Pray. Sit in God’s creation. Turn your phone off. LISTEN! Seek God and invite Him into the process.
 
3. Keep it simple. Strive to have no more than 2 goals in each category. The point is to set yourself up for success, not failure.
 
4. Think of others. Your life isn’t about you. It should be about others. Be abundant in your thought process.
 
5. Be S.M.A.R.T. “I want to lose weight” or “I want to read more” are great ideas but terrible goals. “I want to lose 30 pounds by September 1st by working out Monday, Wednesday, & Friday at 6:00 am” or “I want to read 1 book per month by reading for 30 minutes each morning before work” are S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-Bound)
 
6. Frame and hang your goals. Hang them where you will get a reminder each morning.
 
7. Get accountable. Share your plan with your wife, mentor, brother or close friend. Schedule regular meetings with these people in order to review your progress. Give them permission to be tough on you.
 
8. Execute. Anyone can sit down and write down goals. Planning is easy. Executing is difficult. Execution is the difference between diligence and mediocrity.