woody at desk

Last night, while Mom, Dad, Chloe and I were eating dinner, Mom asked us a question. “Do either of you pups have any New Year’s resolutions?”

“New Year’s what?” I asked, confused.

“New Year’s resolutions,” Mom repeated. “Usually, at the beginning of a brand new calendar year, people make resolutions. They resolve – or make promises – to improve themselves, develop a good habit, or set a goal.”

“But it’s already the 9th day of the month,” I replied. “Aren’t we too late?”

“It’s never too late to improve ourselves,” Dad answered. He went on to explain the practice of New Year’s resolutions dated back over 4,000 years and that most people set a resolution to lose weight, exercise more, or save more money.

Although I wasn’t familiar with the word resolution, I did know what a goal was. Mom and Dad consistently talked about the importance of setting SMART goals. SMART was an acronym – meaning each letter in the word stood for another word.

S – Specific

M – Measurable

A – Achievable

R – Realistic

T – Timely

“A goal needs to be something that’s specific and realistic, that can  be measured and achieved in a timely manner,” Dad had explained. “Some goals are short-term goals while other goals are long-term.”

Not only did our parents talk about goals, we set goals and worked toward them. When our first Woody book came out in 2003, Mom and Dad set a goal to speak to kids in every county of Kentucky. Here we are, 16 years later, and we are still working on that goal. To date, we’ve spoken to kids in 117 of 120 counties. Just so you know – once we reach that goal, we won’t stop traveling and speaking! No way! We’ll just set a new long-term goal.

“So,” Mom continued, “now that you know what they are, I’ll ask again: Do you have any New Year’s resolutions?” Chloe said she was going to have to give it some thought, but I immediately knew one resolution. “I’m going to do a better job writing in my online diary and keeping up with my blog.”

“Excellent goal,” Dad praised. “Can you be more specific than ‘better job’?”

“I’m going to write my blog every day,” I proudly announced. Immediately, 3 sets of  eyes stared at me.

“Is that realistic?” Mom asked.

“I’m going to write my blog once a we…”

I saw Mom raise an eyebrow before I finished the word.

“I’m going to write my blog once a month,” I announced with confidence.

“Perfect,” everyone replied.

I’ll ask you the same question Mom asked me: Do you have a New Year’s resolution? Have you set a SMART goal? It’s not too late. Remember, goals can be hard work, but they’re worth it. Mom loves a quote by a lady named Estee Lauder. I don’t know who she is but I love what she says.

“I didn’t get there by wishing for it or hoping for it, but by working for it.” – Estee Lauder

Chloe and I are cheering for each of you as you set a goal and work toward it. Email us and let us know what your goal is. I’ll see you back here next month! In the meantime…