Ethan Quant: It's Separation Season


Ethan Quant. Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune staff

I remember when by this time of year, I would have already abandoned any thought of trying to meet my goals that I had set for this year, mainly because life happened. Yet over the years I have grown to realise the tremendous benefits of setting end of year goals in December regardless of whether or not I was successful in achieving my goals for the year.

So now instead of getting lost in the holiday season, I actually call this time of year separation season. It’s a simple idea really, just work while everyone else is slacking off. The greatest benefit of this is that you end the year strong while building momentum that will carry you into the new year on a high.

The key to maximising separation season is to properly set goals, realistic goals of things that you can do that are well within your power to accomplish even during this festive season.

Of course I would encourage you to use the SMART goal model to assist you with this goal setting. What is a SMART goal you ask? SMART is an acronym for “Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound”. Here is a further breakdown:

Specific – Your goal should clearly state what it is that you want to accomplish. Think who, what, where, which, and why.

Measurable – Your goal should be broken down into measurable elements, so that you can track your progress, or lack thereof. Ask yourself, how are you going to determine whether or not you have met your goal?

Attainable – Your goal should be realistic. In other words, you goal should be something well within your ability to achieve.

Relevant – Your goal should align with your own values and beliefs. Simply put, your goal should be relevant to you.

Time-Bound – Your goal should have a deadline. Giving your goal a deadline will create a sense of urgency for what you are working toward.

It is also helpful to think about what you want to accomplish in the next year as well and naturally you would want these goals to align so that your come January it’s a continuation of the process. This will give you a really good head start in crushing your new year’s goals, but more importantly it will give you the structure needed to finish the year strong. Once you have come up with your goals form the end of the year and for the new year, the next crucial step is developing an action plan. I will cover that in next week’s article.

If you can take a couple of minutes now and write down two or three things that you would want to accomplish between now and the end of the year. Remember, you want these to be things that you can realistically accomplish between now and the end of the year.


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