Doing it all right in 2016 – S.M.A.R.T. Goals not just a New Year’s Resolution

Doing it all right in 2016 – S.M.A.R.T. Goals not just a New Year’s Resolution

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New Year’s Eve for me is traditionally rather a time for reflection than for partying and getting drunk. I attended approximately 2 real New Year’s parties in my life and if my memory is right, I was pretty depressed.

Instead I like to ponder on life, looking back to the outgoing year and making lofty plans for the new year.

Like almost everyone else who makes a New Year’s resolution my good intention rarely ever yielded positive results. However, 2016 will be the first full year of Life-Sparring for me, so I am hopeful to do it all right this time around!

We all know George T. Doran’s S.M.A.R.T. concept from business school or corporate workshops: management goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time related to be effective.

Goals that do not fulfill these criteria are almost never sustainable, neither as management targets nor as New Year’s resolutions.

While Derek Sivers and others warn of the demoralizing effect of publicly announcing your goals, I still believe that “putting myself out there” will help me to stay on course to reach my targets.

So without further ado, here are my six S.M.A.R.T. targets for 2016:

  • Posting at least 48 Life-Sparring sessions in 2016

While it is not always easy to craft a meaningful article, I believe that every posting on helps me to reflect on my ideas, distill them and consequently improve myself. Staying disciplined and posting regularly is one of my main goals for the new year.

  • Developing a sustainable mindfulness practice, sitting for 99 meditation sittings in 2016

I know the benefits of mindfulness, I know that my crowded mind is often enough in my own way and still I haven’t managed to develop a regular meditation habit. This year I really want to go for it. I track my meditation sessions via google doc, so the target of 99 sessions is fairly easy to track.

  • Reading 20 books in 2016 and sharing the lessons on life-sparring

20 books are a fairly defensive target, coming off reading 27 books in 2015, however as 2016 promises to be a really busy year and I want to focus on execution, 20 seems to be just fine. I am also planning to share my lessons learned from books more regular, following the example of Derek Sivers. In the meantime you can find my reading progress on goodreads, the app I use to track books I read.

  • Hiking and running 800 km within the year

After covering around 710 km in each of the past two years, I really want to push a bit further. I haven’t signed up for any trail run events yet, but I definitely will if they fit into my work schedule. The 800 km target will be a true challenge, but I have a fair chance to clear it. As I use a GPS sports watch for all my activities and upload the data to SportTracks3.1 for analysis, tracking the target is fairly easy.

  • Improving my running technique by doing a professional gait analysis and getting technique advice. Also fixing my long-term ankle issue by June 30.

Rather a qualitative than a quantifiable target, but something I always wanted to do, is working on my running technique. I ran kind of regular since my youth, but never made a real attempt to work on my technique. In 2016 I am going to finally get a professional analysis of my running style and make a serious attempt on fixing my poor technique. I will blog about the process here on Life-Sparring. While doing so, I hope to also fix an ankle issue on my left foot, that troubles me for at least 2 years.

  • Reducing my weight below 85 kg (from currently 89 kg), while at the same time reducing my body fat to 20% or lower before July 15 and maintain those values till end of the year

I guess my inherited set of genes condemn me to a life-long struggle against fat accumulation in the midsection. Even if technically not overweight, my unbalanced concentration of body weight is neither aesthetically pleasing nor healthy. Despite doing more sport than ever in 2015, I added another 2 kg over the course of the year. In 2016 its time to reverse the trend and make a significant step from Cruiserweight down to Light Heavyweight.

As my main problem is not body weight per se but weight distribution, I added the body fat target. This target might be the hardest among the six of them. I am fighting an uphill battle against my changing metabolism, my grown man appetite and the baking skills of my significant other. Wish me luck!

I measure body weight, body fat % and lean muscle mass daily with a Omron Karada Scan body fat scale that delivers fairly consistent and reliable data.

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While I surely have other ambitions in 2016, I guess this 6 goals will do here. If I achieve all of them, I would have made a decent step forward towards a healthier, happier, more mindful and more successful me.

To further increase the chance of reaching my goals, I herewith pledge to come to work in original Bavarian leather pants on the very first working day of 2017, if I don’t achieve at least 5 of the 6 goals mentioned. While going to work in Lederhosen possibly is not particular outrageous in Munich, keep in mind that I work in Hong Kong. The looming thread of making a fool of myself in front of my Hong Kong staff should definitely do for a motivating kick.

What are your goals for 2016? What are your tricks to achieve them? What is your experience with New Year’s resolutions in general? What is your track record? Feel free to share your goals here in the comment section or in a private message. I promise to take you upon on your targets and check-in on the progress!

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