Let’s chat motivation and creating SMART goals.
We are now exactly 1/2 way + 2 days into the year. How are those New Year’s goals and resolutions coming along? If they are not, today I’m going to teach you how to create SMART goals.
I have achieved neither of my 2012 New Year’s Goals, and yet in so many ways, I’ve achieved so much more.
Just because we have the motivation to see our goals through to the end, doesn’t mean they will be achieved. Motivation, hoping, wishing and maintaining a positive attitude are key ingredients, but they are not necessarily SMART goals if an action plan isn’t also attached.
I confused that hope and motivation with acting SMART(er) via SMART goals.
Motivation and Creating SMART Goals
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You have heard of a SMART goal before, yes? If not, here is the SMART(er) goal I use (pick your word):
S: Specific (simple)
M: Measurable (meaningful)
A: Attainable (achievable)
R: Relevant (results-oriented)
T: Timely (trackable)
E: Evaluate (excitable)
R: Reevaluate (rewarding/reassess)
(Note: You may have only heard of a SMART goal. I choose to use SMARTER because I feel that the last two pieces, the ER, are key ingredients.)
Here is how you can define your own SMARTER goals and create an action plan from them:
- S: Specific (simple) – Be very specific when defining and setting your goals. The more you define the outcome, the easier it will be to measure. By the same token, make it simple. Don’t use big words, long phrases and overcomplicated verbiage.
- M: Measurable (meaningful) – The goal must be measurable. You must have a way to make it meaningful and a way to understand how you know it is on track to become achieved.
- A: Attainable (achievable) – Lofty goals are great, but if they are truly unattainable they are likely to not be meaningful, and you will likely not be able to follow through. Just because we wish and hope for something doesn’t mean it’s truly attainable. I wish to win the lottery, but that’s 99.9% unattainable. Two different things. Make sure you are setting yourself up to achieve.
- R: Relevant (results-oriented) – Don’t waste your time. Is your goal relevant? Will this goal make a difference in your life? You wouldn’t set a goal to sell 1,000 widgets in 4 months if your primary professional purpose was to sell coffee beans, right? (Um, yeah….weird analogy, I know – it’s early!) Aim to produce results that will enhance your life. Customize goals for your own vertical.
- T: Timely (trackable) – Without an end in sight, we tend to carry out tasks and goals for an infinite amount of time. With an infinite amount of time, you will likely never achieve the goal. Put an end cap on that goal. I also put mini end caps on my goals, tracking them along the way. What have you done to achieve the goal daily, weekly, monthly?
- E: Evaluate (excitable) – Once your goal is set, evaluate it -> is it excitable? Are you ready to dive in and make it happen? (Yes, this is part of the motivation piece.) If we are not intrinsically excited and motivated to achieve something, the SMARTER goal still remains arbitrary. Make sure your goal leaves you wanting to get your hands dirty stat.
- R: Reevaluate (rewarding/reassess) – In my professional life, I’ve never worked with a client who has said post-campaign, “Well, thanks for your help. It was fun. Time to move on to the next campaign.” Instead, I dig into social ROI and analytics. This is a part of the reevaluation period. It’s crucial. Take time to reflect on the goal you set and the outcome, whether or not you achieved your goal. We only grow from experiences and what we are able to take away from those experiences.
The second half of 2012 is going to be much SMARTER.
I have a lot of SMARTs up the sleeves, and I am confident that this blend of motivation + SMARTER has only the best on the beautiful horizon.
Want more? Check out How to Accomplish Anything and Everything While Staying Sane. Want a challenge that’s not as long as 101 days? Check out Three Months Until the New Year, 21 Days with No Sugar, and (of course) the 21 days via The Gutsy Girl’s Bible: an approach to healing the gut.
You will heal. I will help.