Do It Myself Blog – Glenda Watson Hyatt

Motivational Speaker

Getting SMART about Setting Goals

Filed under: Motivation — by at 4:15 pm on Friday, January 4, 2008

Hockey player scores on net: How many goals will you score in 2008
(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 – 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.

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Comment by Marina @ Sufficient Thrust

January 4, 2008 @ 6:01 pm

I love your resolution!

I also keep track of my contributions to the blogosphere using a point system. I got this idea from ProBlogger.

I love the bubbles on Dave Seah’s Printable CEO forms, so I made some bubbles for me to fill in for my points, too — but Excel is also an easy option 🙂

Comment by Alison

January 4, 2008 @ 11:04 pm

Hi, my name is Alison, and I’ve been reading your blog for a few weeks, I got it from Jana, and I like it. I also like your resolutions. My blog is not very interesting, but some say it is. Hope to hear something from you on my blog soon

Comment by Mary McDonald, Process Improvement Specialist

January 5, 2008 @ 9:26 am

Hi Glenda,

I teach SMART goalsetting in many of my technical classes as well as recommend it for projects — it’s a great and easy-to-remember tool. Bravo for bringing it out for this exercise!

One of my goals for 2008 is to travel a bit less in order to spend more time with my family. I traveled every week this year due to two long-term contracts that happened to overlap; while financially rewarding, my joke is that “the kids are looking askance at the strange woman who’s sleeping with their dad every Saturday night” since I often get home around midnight on Friday and head back out the door on Sunday nights! No way to live in the long term, but we had a great Christmas and New Year’s – didn’t do a blessed thing — and we all rested up and are renewed for ’08.

A second resolution is to build my business locally (Austin TX) in order to accomplish #1; but, I will still strive to stay home more even if it means no work that day/week if I can see more of the kids sports games or be here for more family dinners.

Hugs and warmth to you and Darrell!

Mary McD

Comment by RennyBA

January 5, 2008 @ 12:50 pm

Your such a resolute woman Glenda and you really show it in this post. Some great tips I’ll keep in mind – thanks for sharing!

Happy New Year and all the best for you in 2008 🙂

Comment by Shaping Youth

January 7, 2008 @ 9:16 am

With close to 12,000 votes to blog for a year, I’d say you’ve built QUITE a SMART community! wow. Inspiring. Haven’t forgotten our interview, in the queue to come! Wondering if you’ve seen and/or can comment upon the success of this site?

Looks AWESOME. I want to do a story on it; just found it via HASTAC on ning. Talk about community building for a market niche…perfect use of resources and funneling reviews among those who know what’s useful and not! (plus 600,000 jobs? whoa)

Let me know if you have any firsthand knowledge of same so I can get a feel for how it works in the real world (vs. video!) Rock on, Glenda!

Comment by Smart Goals

March 30, 2008 @ 4:51 pm

Hi Glenda,

I think that SMART goal setting is a very effective method to accomplish your goals. Many people want to reach their goals but are not sure where to start.

Once you write down what you want to accomplish you can evaluate the priority and relevancy of your goals. What you want to accomplish will seem much more real.

When you decide what you want to achieve you can create an action plan. Your plan will keep you focused and motivated to accomplish any goal you want in life. Stay positive and focus on what you want to achieve.

Comment by Di @ Life is Di-licious

January 3, 2013 @ 4:48 am

What a great post Glenda. I found you from a comment you made about goal setting on the Pro Blogger blog.

I’m refocusing my blog right now and starting with setting goals. I loved your ‘Commenting on 5 new blogs’ idea so much that I’m adding it to my Goals List.

Kind regards

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