In the next few years, I’d like to learn to drive, learn to cook, de-clutter my everything, plan my wedding, and become a big-boss-lady-person for Fresh Collective. That’s a lot to take on, being the chronic procrastinator that I am, and is exhausting to think about on muggy hot days like today, when even putting on pants is a labour. This week at work, our Regional Manager, Jane (hey Jane!) chatted with us management folk about the value of goal-setting, and how to set realistic, productive goals in our lives and for our business. I liked the concept so much, I thought I’d share it with you folks. Perhaps you can find some use in this for yourself. Perhaps you can print it off and leave it for your partner who’s been putting off doing Obscure Chore #346 for seven months now.
So I read over the worksheet Jane left us to play around with, and although the “system” is simple, its commonly overlooked. People tend to go from step one to step four, then step seven, then they realize it’s not going smoothly so they abandon it and start something else. Planning is the key to achieving any goal, and laying out your road map of what you want to accomplish and how you want to accomplish it, will make a big difference in the ease in execution of the task. Today we’re going to learn to set SMART goals. No, they’re not the opposite of dumb goals. SMART goals are goals that follow the S.M.A.R.T. format. What’s this, you ask? Read on, loveys.
S – Specific
What exactly is the goal? Are you taking on one gigantic challenge, or are you breaking it down into several smaller ones? Setting a specific goal will help you evaluate your completion of it. Who is involved in the goal? Do you need the help and support of your partner, friends or colleagues? Compiling a list of who’s in on this will alleviate your worry about roping people in unexpectedly later on. Think about how the process will likely go, from start to finish. Will you need your friends to help hold you accountable for getting up in the morning and hitting the gym? Will your co-workers need to assist you in completing a project? Forecast who you’ll need and what their role will be before starting on your journey. Next, where does this goal take place, and where will you need to be? Will you need to move some tasks around to enable you to travel? Does your partner need to stay home for a few hours to watch your little ones while you blaze your trail? Think of locations and travel and transportation to eliminate any last-minute excuses which block you from reaching your goal. How will you accomplish this goal? What steps can you foresee yourself taking to complete this? All of these areas are things which should be planned in advance to ensure a smooth ride in executing your mission. Are unexpected things going to pop up? Of course they are, that’s the way life works. But, if you have MOST of the details hammered out, those little quirks which deviate from the plan won’t be nearly as disruptive.
M – Measureable
How will you track the progress from start to finish? This is why I’m a huge advocate for breaking larger processes into smaller ones. When setting a goal for yourself, creating easy-to-track and “check off” components is crucial. Without a measurable system for tracking your progress, you may not reach your full potential, or you may end up working tirelessly even after surpassing your goal! Setting ‘checkpoints’ will assist you, and it’ll be nice to see how close you are to succeeding. For example, if my goal is to plan my wedding, my checkpoints could be broken down into different areas, such as venue booking:
-pick top three venues
-note venue inclusions (dinnerware, linens, sound equip, etc)
-check outside services for compatibility (equipment moving, storage, transportation and setup, etc)
-communicate venue selection to services (DJ, catering, lighting, etc) and include pictures and measurements of space
A – Achievable
Make your goal challenging and realistic! Telling yourself that you’ll land your dream job in four weeks or you’ll become loyal to a strict workout regime cold-turkey after three years of professional couch-sitting may not be the best way to get yourself started on the path to success. A major part of goal-setting is the ability to evaluate your capabilities as a human being, and staying fair to yourself, while also pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and making new possibilities available. If your goal is to live healthier, some realistic and practical goals would be to get a fitness evaluation and join a motivating, enjoyable gym or fitness group. If you’d like to land your dream job, starting by giving yourself a deadline to complete your resume, network to the targeted group, or book three interviews – a practical place to start. Setting goals that are too easy is counterproductive, because you’ll be flush with a sense of accomplishment, but in reality, nothing will have changed. Set challenging but attainable goals for yourself and revel in your well-earned success!
R – Relevant
Is this in harmony with your values and purpose? What’s made you reach for this goal? Are you going back to school to upgrade your career? Are you eating better to lead by example for your family? Are you at a turning point in your life or lifestyle which commands the need for change? If so, go for it, and don’t look back. If you’re exercising to fit into a dress, or getting a higher-paying job to make your ex wish you were still together, the intentions are superfluous and unnecessary, and executing this goal will not be worth the time, effort and dedication it’ll take to do. Plus, the payoff will be bittersweet. Yes, the dress will fit, and yes, the ex may be extremely jealous, but YOU have not reaped the benefits of your efforts, which is defeating. Think about the ways achieving this goal will affect your life and your future, and focus on the things which will truly impact you and your network of people in a positive, empowering way!
T – Timely
What are the timelines and deadlines? Yes, eventually you know you’ll get’er done. But, in the days/weeks/months/years you put off reaching for the stars, you’re sitting idly by allowing the world to dump whatever it wants in your lap. Busy minds are happy minds, so set a realistic but ambitious timeline and deadline for yourself to follow and HOLD YOURSELF ACCOUNTABLE TO IT! Alternately, you can also ask a friend to hold you accountable via text, Facebook messaging, or by waking you up every morning at 6 am by banging a pot and spoon directly over your head. Cardio time! Project deadlines exist in every workplace because without them, havoc ensues. Keep yourself on the ball by being honest about what kind of timelines you should allow yourself, and then stick to them! Fallen off the wagon? Its not too late! Those deadlines may flex a bit to allow yourself more or less time, but you can still hold yourself accountable to achieving them during round two!
What kinds of goals are you setting for yourself this month? What sorts of goals have you achieved in the past, and what did you do to make them happen? Looking forward to picking your brains about the strategies and methods which have worked best for you! In fact, I’ll sweeten the pot by tossing in a complimentary Wardrobe Makeover (http://www.freshcollective.
com/wardrobe-makeover/ wardrobe-makeover/) for the first THREE readers who reply with stories or pics of their own successes and experiences in goal setting! Have a great weekend, folks!