The first month of 2013 has disappeared already! Did you make New Year’s resolutions? Did they fail? From what I’ve heard, it’s pretty normal for most resolutions to last days, weeks at best. So how about a different objective for the year? Helping other people meet their resolutions.

As a leader, manager, colleague, family member or friend, this can be something incredibly rewarding, not just for the recipient, but for you too.

Helping others can be anything, from providing training programmes for staff wishing to advance their careers, proofreading a friend’s tertiary study assignments, to not bringing baking to work when your colleague is on a diet!

It’s likely you would have heard the SMART acronym. Goals must be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and have a Timeframe, if they are to be successful:

It’s proven that the more people you share your SMART goals with, the greater your chance of realising them. Being the sounding board can make them not just accountable to themselves, but to you too.

Discuss their goals with them, sit down and have a really good natter, take notes. Ask them what they need to change, do, or even give up, to help them succeed. Is the gain worth more than the loss? Change is often the biggest hurdle, help them to face the unknown. If they don’t reach for their goal – what are the consequences? Perhaps an unengaged workforce, stagnant career, or health problems? Sometimes just knowing there is another person who believes in them, and is available at those times when the task seems impossible, is all they need. I’ve said it before – help them to get out of their own way!

Making the goal SMART can also mean breaking it down into achievable milestones, each with their own timeframe. Working towards a qualification may take years, but upon each successful paper completion you are one step closer. We didn’t just suddenly decide to pack our gear and head to Antarctica. It took a combination of research, training, talking to role models (such as Sir Edmund Hillary), sponsors and a support crew behind us to reach the South Pole.

Remember how I said helping others can be mutually beneficial? Think of those suggestions I made earlier – providing training programmes for staff brings fresh ideas into the organisation, creating happier staff who are more likely to stay long term. Proofreading a friend’s tertiary study assignments can open your own eyes to new knowledge and ideas. And hey, less baking at work is good for everyone’s waistline!

I personally know how exhilarating it is to cross a finish line, and acknowledge the behind the scenes support needed to do so. As an external business coach, I thrive at turning what I have experienced into being the support person. I now help others develop their professional advancement skill set. Have a think about who in your life you can help, and how. If you’re keen share it with the rest of us below.

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