13 Jan Practical Guide to SMART Goals
“Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right” ~ Oprah Winfrey
Here we are! Almost two weeks into 2018… So, how’s it going?
For me, quite honestly…it’s been a slow start. Which is why I’m glad that Dominique and I decided to dedicate the whole month of January to a series of blogs that would help us all make some goals that have staying power.
According to U.S. News 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by February.
We don’t want to become part of that statistic and we don’t want you to either. We want to be counted among the 20% who accomplished their goals! Can I get an AMEN?!
As I mentioned in the first blog in this series the way to give your goals a fighting chance is to make sure they are S.M.A.R.T. goals. That is, make sure they are:
Let me give you an example how this works and how I have ALREADY had to tweak one of my goals.
Before the ball dropped in NYC on December 31st of 2017, I’d already decided to make it a goal of mine to “write every day.” My intention was to expand my creative writing. I have ideas for books, articles and blogs I’ve been sitting on for some time now. In the absence of a particular direction I thought it would suffice to have a general goal to “write every day.” You know, to get me started. I figured at the very least I could at least manage a journal entry.
The problem: My goal did not pass the very first letter of the S.M.A.R.T. acronym. It was not specific.
So, although I’ve written something every day it’s not always been something of value and most days I just scribbled something in my journal in order to say I met my commitment. The trouble is I’m not really accomplishing the intention I have for writing.
I needed to back-up and get more SPECIFIC. “Write something creative everyday” would have been more specific, however, it would’ve never passed the ATTAINABLE test. In order to write creatively I need a good chunk of time when I can be alone with my thoughts, explore ideas and let my writing wander. So, I had to modify further.
I felt confident I could commit to “Writing something creative twice a week.” That passed the test on all fronts.
It is specific. I am not committing to writing just anything – I am writing something creative.
It is measureable. I can look at my files and see what I have written.
It is attainable. I feel confident it is a schedule I can keep.
It is resourced. Fortunately, it doesn’t cost anything and I can budget the time in my calendar.
It is time-related. It is a habit I can keep all year.
So, let’s talk about YOU!
You will need to get your paper out from last week’s blog –the exercise that Dominique had you do. If you didn’t do it yet, don’t worry you can take a few minutes now.
Look at the 4 areas of your balanced goals and pick one from each. Start with one thing in each area you feel confident you can accomplish. Check they pass the S.M.A.R.T. test, and if not, adjust to something that is more achievable or eliminate it altogether.
From here you need to do a few practical things.
- Make time.
Every goal you have needs to convert into a calendar item. If you don’t set aside a specific time to work towards your goal, chances are it won’t happen. Just this week I allotted an afternoon to write. But, I was tempted to run an errand while I was out that would’ve cut into my writing time. It was hard not to choose not to run the errand for the sake of convenience, but I decided to prioritize the commitment I made to myself. This is going to take some practice!
- Find an accountability partner.
I am part of a mastermind that assigned accountability partners and mine has already texted me twice this week to check on me. It will be rather embarrassing if I don’t start fulfilling my commitment! Ask a friend to hold you accountable and see if you can be an accountability partner for her.
- Stop making excuses.
If you are waiting for the perfect time for all your proverbial ducks to be in a row you will be waiting forever and if you are like me, years may go by without accomplishing a particular goal.
One last thought…get your goals in front of you, lay your hands on them and commit them to God!
Commit your actions to the LORD, and your plans will succeed. ~ Proverbs 16:9
Let’s determine 2018 will be different! Are you ready?