This year as I was writing my New Year's Resolutions I created categories to ensure I was covering all aspects of my life and made sure I had one goal for each.
Professional (job, volunteering)
Educational (skill building, classes/learning)
Spiritual (mental lifestyle, religion, etc)
Financial (debt, goal purchase, donations)
FUN (play guitar, concert, sporting event, skydive, etc)
One thing I've learned through my many endeavors over the years is when goals are made, more is achieved. The more time spent deliberately creating specific goals, the likelihood of it being reached is greater. For those educators out there, we refer to them as S.M.A.R.T. goals.
Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.
Lots of you have written, or lack thereof, personal goals over the past few days in light of the new year. Go back and check to see if your goals are SMART.
SPECIFIC: answer the Who, What, When, Where, Why and you're well on your way to having a specific goal and meeting the first criteria of a SMART goal.
MEASURABLE: how are you going to know you have reached your goal? What does that look like? TIP: Break it down into monthly or weekly mini goals.
ATTAINABLE: find something you love to do, where's your passion? Exercising might not motivate you, but if you love playing basketball or swimming or yoga - focus your goal around your passions and they will become much more attainable.
REALISTIC: is your goal going to stretch your comfort zone, yet still within reach? Flying to the moon this year might be unrealistic but you could go to space camp, take astronomy classes, take flying lessons, etc.
TIMELY: motivation to accomplish a task increases when there's a deadline. Be specific about when you will reach your goal. TIP: All your goals shouldn't be year-long, make each goal different therefore you always have a deadline right around the corner. Ex: pay off student loan by may 15th, run 5k on august 21st, save $1200 for Christmas Vacation ($100 each month - small goals).
Here's one of mine:
I will learn to play 2 songs fluently on the Harmonica by June 1st by practicing at least one hour every weekend.
Specific? yes. Measurable? yes. Attainable? yes. Realistic? yes. Timely? yes.
Good Luck with your SMART goals - let me know your goals and progress!
For more details and examples of SMART goals check out these links:
Happy New Year! My 2012 Calendar is now available - use it to track your goals!