So you have narrowed down your list of goals to what you’d like to pursue this year. Now it’s time to put pen to paper. I think there are some serious benefits to physically writing down your goals. Firstly, it makes your goals tangible, real, and helps you actualize them. Secondly, it largely increases the chances that you’ll actually stick to them.
But we aren’t going to just write them down, we are going to make a SMART start to your goals. By now I’m assuming you have been exposed to the concept of SMART goals, so I’ll quickly review what each letter typically stands for as a refresher.
- S – Specific. Your goal must be clear and well-defined. Vague or generalized goals are unhelpful because they don’t provide sufficient direction.
- M – Measurable. Include precise amounts. Without a way to measure your success, you miss out on the celebration that comes with knowing you have actually achieved something.
- A – Attainable. Make sure that it’s possible to achieve the goals you set. If you set a goal that you have no hope of achieving, you will only demoralize yourself and erode your confidence. However, resist the urge to set goals that are too easy.
- R – Relevant. Goals should be relevant to the direction you want your life and career to take. If you’re still struggling with this, refer back to my previous post on brainstorming potential goals.
- T – Time Bound. When you are working on a deadline, your sense of urgency increases and achievement will come that much quicker. Practice by setting precise due dates.
Let’s walk through an example with one of my 2019 goals.
Goal: Become a more confident speaker in front of a camera.
Specific: I want to publish 12 one-minute videos discussing 12 distinctive topics.
- By the end of January, create a list of 12 topics to develop a specific video about.
- Publish one new video per month about one of the topics on the list.
- Dedicate 10 minutes per day or 5 hours per month (totally achievable) to develop content, practice a presentation and shoot a video.
Relevant: It is important to me to become a better speaker and more confident in the age of video content. Becoming a better speaker will allow me to:
- Overcome a limiting fear
- Attract more opportunities
- Develop higher quality material
- A monthly one-minute video posted by the last day of the month
Now it’s your turn. Take the goal ideas you have and build them into SMART goal statements. Write 1-3 bullet points for each letter. However, don’t overthink this step. It really only needs to be a 10-minute process. This is just a foundation for the next step: building your action plan.
Want to connect further about personal coaching, speaking opportunities or other engagements you think I’d be interested in? Connect with me or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.