DAILY INSIGHT: Hello 2013!

By Jon Castelhano, CIO Advisor

The Hype

I don't usually get overly excited about the new year hype that seems to consume many every January 1st. It seems like often we know we need to reflect on things and make some changes long before the new year rolls around, but using the new year's resolution line can buy us a little time before actually making change. But, I am as human as the next and often find myself doing a bit more reflecting when the new year rolls around. Taking some extra time to review current procedures, plans, and the day-to-day routines that can always benefit from improvement. I also felt like I needed to work on a few personal work-related goals that would help keep me grounded.


There are a number of goal-setting techniques out there to guide a person through what can sometimes be a difficult process. With most things, I like to not overly complicate the task and ran across an easy-to-understand piece on the Mind Tools website. The article is titled Personal Goal Setting and provides an easy-to-understand model for setting different types of goals for the long- and short-term scenario. One of the suggestions for creating powerful goals is below.

A useful way of making goals more powerful is to use the SMART mnemonic. While there are plenty of variants (some of which we've included in parenthesis), SMART usually stands for:

S - Specific (or Significant).
M - Measurable (or Meaningful).
A - Attainable (or Action-Oriented).
R - Relevant (or Rewarding).
T - Time-bound (or Trackable).

Make It Your Own

The great thing about all the information we have at our fingertips is being able to access it, process it, and decide what pieces we want to use. Keep that in mind when setting your goals and don't hesitate to search out the numerous ways there are to make the process enjoyable and worthwhile. Goals can be very powerful and motivating in shaping the way we maneuver through our daily lives. We live in a fast-paced, technology-driven world and stress is all around us. Try goal setting as a way to minimize some of that stress and keep that frown turned upside down.

Jon Castelhano is director of technology for Apache Junction USD in Arizona. This blog is cross posted on his blog, This and That.