How to Set Your Own Cyber Goals for the New Year

Goals and resolutions

Goals are an essential part of life. They provide us with direction and motivation to work towards something greater than ourselves. Goals give us a sense of purpose. And help us stay focused on the tasks that will lead us to success. There are many techniques about setting goals. One of the techniques I used in my corporate career in Information Technology. And Cybersecurity is known as the S.M.A.R.T. goals framework. I’ve used the framework to track many projects, large and small. 

What are S.M.A.R.T. Goals?

S.M.A.R.T. stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time Bound. Setting a goal and seeing it through to completion requires careful planning and consideration. 

When setting a S.M.A.R.T goal, it is important to be specific about what you are trying to accomplish and how you plan on doing it. This means that you need to clearly define the task at hand and create an actionable plan of how you will achieve it within a certain timeframe. Additionally, the goal should be achievable given the resources available to you and relevant to your overall objectives or desired outcome. Finally, make sure that your goal has a timeline attached so that you can measure progress over time and stay motivated throughout the process of achieving it.

Regardless of the framework you use to set goals, taking the time to plan what you want to achieve can make the difference to obtain what you want. Sort of if you know where you are going, you’ll get there. Otherwise, you may end up in a place you don’t want to be. 

What is the difference between Goals and Resolutions

Goals and resolutions are two terms that are often used interchangeably, but they may have different meanings. Goals refer to the desired outcomes or objectives that a person wants to achieve and have clear steps and timelines for completion. They are usually long-term and require dedication and hard work in order to be achieved. Resolutions, on the other hand, are more short-term commitments that a person makes in order to improve their life or reach a certain goal. And Resolutions can be anything from eating healthier to spending more time with family. Resolutions may not have any specific timeline or plan of action associated with them

Ultimately, both goals and resolutions can help individuals reach their desired outcomes; however, it is important to understand the differences between them in order to make sure you’re taking the right steps towards achieving your desired results.

Are you a goal oriented or resolution-oriented person? or both?

I think that whether we use both resolutions and goals or mainly focus on goals, the key is to have a system that can help keep us motivated and focused throughout the year. If having a clear resolution gives you something to strive for while setting goals helps break down large tasks into smaller ones that are easier to manage. This makes it easier to track progress and stay on track with achieving your desired outcome. Additionally, having both resolutions and goals can provide a sense of accomplishment when each goal is achieved along the way towards reaching your ultimate resolution. 

Are realistic goals better?

Some people prefer realistic goals, it helps to keep fears at bay and a lot can be accomplished with this approach of one step at a time. I like big and bold dreams and then I break them into smaller actionable actions.  Setting them as short-term and long-term goals that can be measured over a period of time. Short-term goals should be achievable within a few weeks or months, while long-term goals may take years to accomplish.

When setting goals, I found that having a clear vision of what you want to achieve and why you want to achieve it matters so much. This will help keep you motivated and focused on reaching your goal. Additionally, having a timeline for achieving your goal can help keep you on track as well as provide a sense of accomplishment when you reach each milestone along the way. Finally, don’t forget to celebrate when you reach your goal! Taking the time to recognize all of the hard work that went into achieving it will make all of the effort worth it in the end.

When you set a goal that is bigger than what most people think is possible, you will inevitably face some resistance. People may try to hold you back because they can’t imagine themselves achieving the same level of success. This doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with them or their goals; it just means that they have different aspirations than yours.

No matter how much criticism and judgement you receive, don’t let it stop you from reaching for your dreams. It’s natural for people to be scared of change, and when someone sees you striving for something greater than what they are used to, it can be intimidating. Don’t let this discourage you; instead use it as motivation to keep pushing forward and prove them wrong. Even if it means leaving those people behind, don’t give up on yourself and your goals.

Do you like riding roller coasters?

The first time I went on a roller coaster ride, I couldn’t keep my eyes open the whole time! Somehow, it seemed better not to know when las bajadas (the drops) were coming. I was afraid the WHOLE time and, of course, I screamed a lot. After the ride was over, I rode it again and again. The adrenaline of the unknown was an extraordinary experience and a way to conquer my fears.

Why are we so afraid to set goals?

Setting goals can be a great way to stay motivated and focused on achieving your desired outcome. However, there are some people who resist goal setting and find it difficult to commit to any kind of plan. 

If you’re someone who doesn’t enjoy the thought of goal setting, it could be due to a variety of reasons. Maybe you don’t like the idea of having expectations placed on yourself or you don’t feel like you have enough control over the outcome. It could also be that you’re afraid of failure or simply don’t know how to set effective goals. Whatever the reason may be, it’s important to understand why you’re resisting goal setting in order to overcome this obstacle and make progress towards your desired outcomes.

We all have goals that we want to achieve, but sometimes it can be hard to take the first step. We may be afraid of failure or of not having the skills or resources to reach our goals. Fear can be a powerful force that prevents us from taking action and setting goals.

Fear of failure is one of the most common reasons why people are afraid to set goals. We may worry that if we fail, it will reflect badly on us and make us look incompetent or foolish. We may also fear success, worrying that if we succeed, it will bring too much attention and responsibility. Other fears include not having enough time or resources to reach our goals, or feeling overwhelmed by the amount of work required. Whatever the reason for our fear, it can prevent us from taking action and achieving our dreams.

What are Cyber Goals?

Sometimes conquering fears can be challenging, but once you jump in, it gets easier! It can be this way with your cyber world – as you go up that first roller coaster hill, your stomach churns and you feel like you’re about to fall out. But once you settle into it, it can be a fun experience. Once you get over your cyber fears, you can relax and enjoy the ride, and allow yourself to learn new things along the way.

A cyber goal is the set of actions you can establish that can help you stay protected from hackers, scammers, and Cybermonsters and reduce the chances of becoming an identity theft or cybercrime victim. Having a resolution to stay safe online, protect your loved ones using the internet or simply wanting to enjoy your cyber life can be quite powerful. 

For 2023, I like to incorporate life changes that I can sustain over the years, a life plan. I decided to update my mindset from resolutions and S.M.A.R.T. goals and integrate the Be I AM framework. Be Intentional, Aware, and Mindful to achieve my goals. I have chosen diets as my resolution and goals in the past, and they usually didn’t work and I returned back into the same patterns. The Be I AM framework is the secret step I can take to ensure my goals are successful and fulfilling while keeping my information safe online.

What does it mean to Be I AM with your Goals?

Intentional: Mixing the goals for the year with clear intentions about what you want. Clarity of the WHAT with clarity on the WHY and set reminders every day. Whether using affirmations or putting it in your calendar, or journaling. 

Aware: Knowing of all the things that can happen during the execution of your goals. Tracking, measuring  and continuously assessing yourself.   

Mindful: Choosing to be fully present. Ask yourself if what you’re doing right now will make a difference and get you closer to your vision-dream . Is the action helping to make positive changes in your life in alignment with the goals? If that’s the case, it will be easier to stick with it and move forward or make the necessary course corrections. 

You can also do the same thing with your goals and also with your cyber habits. You don’t have to make all the changes in one day. Bit by bit, you can add new habits to your cyber self-defensive approach. Who better to trust than you?

Here are 3 ways to commit to a cyber safety journey in 2023:

  •  Be Intentional: Put a calendar reminder to update the software on your phone, computer and electronic devices 
  • Be Aware: Did you email get hacked? Assess your cyber life. Create a new email for your most sensitive accounts (medical, banking, business, etc.)
  • Be Mindful: Be fully present as you relate to technology. Pay attention to what’s around you before answering that unknown phone call or clicking that link. Remember, you are what you click.

These 3 things, while simple, can absolutely transform your cyber life. It will be so worth it, and I am here to take you by the hand on this journey!

Are you committing to a cyber self-defensive journey?

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Live Happily Ever Cyber!

Sandra Estok, CEO and Founder of Way2Protect | Happily Ever Cyber!

Sandra Estok

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