Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely…
Most of us know about SMART goals, right? I even had the “luck” to get to watch a little 10 minute “How to Write SMART Goals” video a year or two ago. It was part of professional development because, of course, we had to write SMART goals for ourselves. And I hate to admit it, but I like SMART goals. They make sense. I used to always say, “I need to write” or “I need to submit some work” or “I need to get published” or something else equally vague and unachievable. And it never happened because it was never a real goal. It was more like a wish.
So I watched that video, and made my professional development goals, and then I totally forgot about SMART goals. Meh. They were from work, right? And what does work have to do with the real world?
Well, I went back to a BAWL meeting, and Jessica Trapp was speaking there. She actually said a whole lot in a very short time period, and while I didn’t agree with all of the thoughts she shared, she brought SMART goals up, and it kind of clicked in my mind. Why hadn’t I been doing this all along?
I came home, thought about it, and started writing out my SMART goals for the year. Then I broke them down to monthly and weekly goals. (I considered daily goals, but I know myself too well – there are very few things I manage to do every day…)
And do you want to know the crazy thing? They’ve worked!
Okay, not entirely.
But the SMART goals I wrote for myself about writing, submitting and job searching have! The exercise and house cleaning ones have fallen by the wayside, although I suppose that isn’t very surprising.
Now, I know that it’s only been a few weeks. But isn’t there something out there that says that once you’ve done something 20+ times, it becomes a habit? If that’s the case, then following my SMART goals is totally a habit. I check in with them, and I printed them out so that I can check them off as I do them. At this point, I’m on track with achieving all – except the cleaning and exercise – for the month by the 31st. And that’s with everything else going on around me. Having that check-in list and knowing firm goals is definitely right for me.