Friday, January 31, 2014

SMART Goals 4 - Final Friday

Today is the last of our SMART Goals series.  That doesn't mean you get a break, once today is over. :)  It means that if you haven't set a goal yet, it's time to get to work.  If you have set a goal, you should be working on it.

GOAL= I want

Between those two is work.  A person can't simply want without doing and hope for the best.  It takes work, it takes dedication, it means sticking to your goal and all the little goals that get you to have.

On this final day, we're going to look at the last of the tasks we need to focus on and the questions we need to ask ourselves.  The two words that define T in SMART are Time-Bound and Touchable.

Our lives are all about time.  We know that there are 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, and 24 hours in a day.  Add 7 days in a week, 52 weeks or 12 months in a year, and we have the basis of time in our lives.  We can't work 24 hours a day for 52 weeks over the time we're here on earth.  We know there are things we have to do to live.  We eat, we play, we sleep, we work.  That's the cycle of our lives.  And throughout much of those things, we pray and wish.  Our lives are run by goals.  "I'm expected to get to work at 8 a.m."  "I sleep so I can be rested for tomorrow."  "I'm hungry, so I eat."  On and on, throughout each day, we have goals.  Most of the time we work on them without a lot of thought, because they've become natural to us.  Big goals, the ones that will help shape our lives and our futures, take more time and thought.

The final steps in setting a big goal is to ask yourselves these two questions.

  • When will I achieve my goal?
"Someday I want to..." isn't a goal.  It's a dream.  Remember that dreams are the basis of our goals.  They're what spur us on to set those goals, to do things that will help us realize our dreams.

When setting the "when" of goal achievement, take into account that life never runs smoothly.  There will always be something that pulls you away from the steps and small goals you've set to get what you want...what you dream of having or doing.  

When we think of working on a goal, we often think of it in terms of weeks, months, or years.  Because these are the measures of time we use, keep them uppermost in mind when setting the time of achieving the goal.  Do you have a big goal, one that will take more time than one that's more simple?  Give it a year.  Give it two years, if needed.  Never short yourself on time.  Factor in those somethings that could pull you away from your goal.  Don't overwork yourself, but always try to keep you goal in mind.  And especially remember to take time for yourself (non-goal life), your family and your friends.
  • What's my deadline?
Scary word, deadline.  I've come to the conclusion while working on my current deadlines that the word is apropos. Spot on.  Dead on.  I may be initially excited when I meet a goal on time, but when that rush of adrenalin vanishes, I may often want to sleep for days.  Not that I can, but I sure would like to. ☺

Do you know the origin of the word deadline?  Check it out here.  There's a reason it's called a dead-line.  That doesn't mean that deadlines are bad.  They're needed to reach our goals, whether it's getting healthy by exercise or losing weight (always a #1 on those New Year's resolution lists), taking a dreamed-of vacation, getting a better job, an education, or, yes, writing a book.  We need a way to reach that goal, that deadline.  We set goals.  We NEED deadlines, or we might never work toward our dreams and goals.  Goals take work.  Don't be afraid of doing it or from reaching your goal.

Here's the question to ask yourself: 
  •  What will I have to hold as a completed result?

    Losing weight is touchable.  Our bodies are lighter, our old clothes aren't clinging to us as they did before.  We'll have new clothes to replace the old one's we give away.

    Taking that cruise is touchable.  We feel the spray of the ocean on our faces, the movement of the ship across the water, the feel of the wind and sun on our faces.  And hundreds of photos to share with others and take out, from time to time, to relive the experience again and again.

    A completed manuscript is something we can hold in our hands, and someday it may become a published book.  (Another goal to reach?)  

    A college diploma that has been a long-term goal is touchable.  

    Learning to ride a bike or a drive a car is touchable.

    Have you set your goal?

    Have you set a smart goal?

    Here they are again, those questions to ask yourself as you set your goal.  As you work through your goal, you can use these questions to keep you on track and to adjust your goal, if needed.  

    SPECIFIC - Who, What, When, Where, Why, How?

    Can your goal be broken into smaller steps?

    MEASURABLE - How will you know when you're done?

    MOTIVATIONAL - Is your goal emotionally charged?  Do you have the energy to carry out the goal?

    ATTAINABLE - Is your goal realistic?

    ACCOUNTABLE - Can your goal be tracked and accounted for?

    RELEVANT - How does this fit into your life now?

    RESPONSIBLE - Will your goal or working on it cost you friends?  Respect from family?  Your integrity?  Will it be easy to respond to changes IF required?

    TIME-BOUND - When will you achieve your goal?  What's your deadline?

    TOUCHABLE - What will you have to hold as a completed result?

    SMART (S.M.A.R.T.) Goals.  Our tools to make our dreams come true.
    All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them. ~ Walt Disney

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