… And cue New Year’s Resolutions! I’m a huge fan of making them year after year. It’s a great tradition to treat each new year as a new opportunity, but it’s also ridiculous that after two weeks, I’m often back into the swing of “life” and everything goes out the window.

But NOT this year!

This year I’m making B-school specific resolutions, and I’m making them the S.M.A.R.T. way. Making personal changes or goals to change is a challenge, but there are several frameworks to help. One of my favorites is the concept of S.M.A.R.T goals, which requires a goal to be highly Specific, Measurable, somewhat Attainable, Realistic, and attached to a Time frame. The idea is that all these characteristics increase the likelihood that the goal gets accomplished and that change happens. So without further ado:

Deidre-Ann’s Fuqua Resolution List of 2012:

  1. Meet 3 new people each week – The class of 2012 is leaving soon. I still have folks to meet in my own class of 2013, and the class of 2014 is on its way! Meeting people should be easy, but I don’t just want to meet people, my true aim here is to have memorable conversations. I’ve come up with a creative way to check myself on this, but the sub-goal will be to spend at least one hour of MEANINGFUL time with amazing classmates and professors. 
  2. Find a volunteer opportunity in Durham and commit to staying involved for the whole year – Durham is my temporary home, and I want to give back for all it’s giving me. Business school time moves super fast, but I need to slow it down! When I finalize the commitment, I’ll be sure to share it, but I think I’ll focus on healthcare and patient interaction (WHY a healthcare career matters to me).
  3. Remain physically active and NOT just by going to the gym This is a year for really leaning out of my comfort zone. The gym is great, but what about tennis, golf, ballet, squash, Bikram yoga, modern dance, basketball, indoor rock climbing, skiing, biking, running, and swimming? That equals 12 activities, one per each month of the year. 
  4. Amplify my spiritual beliefs As I mentioned, this is a year of growth and change. It’ll be impossible for me to go it alone. My sub-goal here is to read one piece of interesting Christian literature a week, go to church at least once a month, and connect with other Christian Fuquans.
  5. Have more fun (read: more applied risk taking) During the first term, I was going for balance. This term, balance is out the window. I will always choose the birthday parties, the trivia nights, the extra 30 minutes in the team room goofing off and chatting, and “one more” drink whenever possible.  I’ll be traveling to South Africa and China on GCP and GATE trips this semester, so I’ll need to be purposeful about the activities I choose or I’ll miss out on a ton. A sub-goal here is to become a better story teller. As someone once said, “we are our stories,” and you need to lead a full and rich life in order to have some good ones.

Wish me luck … and keep me in check!

PS: Check out our Irrationality Guru’s advice (that would be Duke’s famous Behavioral Economist Professor Dan Ariely) on how to make New Year’s Resolutions stick