(Photo credit: Adam Klepsteen)
New Year’s Resolutions lose their shine after a few weeks. Our one word for the year may guide us through year. But, sometimes we humans need something stronger, something more direct, something more tangible.
While taking a pre-employment program for people with disabilities, I learned about SMART goals, a technique for setting goals that I have used ever since. A SMART goal is:
- Specific: Consider the 6 w’s â€“ who, what, where, when, which, and why.
- Measurable: How much? How many? How will I know when it is accomplished?
- Attainable: Do you have the capability and capacity to make the goal reality?
- Realistic (or Relevant): Are you willing and able to work toward this goal?
- Time-tagged: Put a timeline or deadline on the goal so it gets done. One day rarely appears on the calendar!
One of my goals for 2008 is: to comment on ten blogs per week, five comments on blogs I have previously commented on to further strengthen those relationships, and five comments on new-to-me blogs to expand my network by forming new relationships. Is this goal SMART?
- Is it specific? Very!
- Is it measurable? Yes, blog comments can be counted. I have even created a spreadsheet for tracking my comments.
- Is it attainable? I think so. Finding five new blogs each week to comment on may prove challenging, but with focus (my word for 2008), I’ll do my best.
- Is it realistic? Leaving ten comments per week seems realistic. It is also relevant to my goal of focusing on blogging this year.
- Is it time-tagged? Yes, by saying “per week”, that puts a sense of urgency on it. I could have said “To contribute 520 comments to the blogosphere by December 31, 2008; 260 on ‘old’ blogs & 260 on ‘new’ blogs.” The end result would be the same, but, being human with a rather full plate, I may not start until December 1st, in which case 520 comments in one month may not be attainable or realistic for me.
My New Year’s Resolution: Increase my contribution to the blogosphere and expand my network.
My SMART goal: Comment on 10 blogs per week, 5 comments on old blogs and 5 on new blogs.
Which am I more likely to succeed at and feel I have accomplished something by New Year’s Eve 2008.
One last consideration is your goal’s direction. Are you moving away from something (or depriving yourself) or are you heading towards something? Are you going to lose weight or are you going to become more active? Are you going to quit smoking or are you going to embrace a healthier lifestyle? Are you going to get rid of clutter or create a more livable and enjoyable home? By pointing your goal in a positive direction, it’s more likely you’ll continue with your changed behaviour once you’re dropped the weight, stopped lighting up or cleaned out the bedroom closet. In my opinion, this makes a goal wise.
If a man knows not what harbor he seeks,
any wind is the right wind.
Feel free to share your New Year’s resolutions as SMART (and wise) goals.If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.