S.M.A.R.T. Goals

smart goals

Winding down the end of the year is always a busy time.  Winding down is actually a misnomer, as I’m usually gearing up for my plans for the new year.  Evaluating what went right, what went wrong,  what goals I’ve met or exceeded and what goals I’ve completely failed at usually are forefront on my mind as I set my plans for the new year.

How do you gauge yourself?  Do you spend time evaluating how you did in meeting goals you’ve set for yourself? If you’ve failed every goal then you either didn’t apply yourself or you set ridiculous unattainable goals.  On the flip side of that, If you’ve met every goal that you’ve set for yourself you’ve set your sights too low.

I’ve missed some of my goals.  I break down into ten areas the goals I set for myself.

  1. Career Development – This includes any webinars, seminars, training and such that I will need for my career.  Getting relicensed each year goes under this category.
  2. Financial – What % I plan to save, invest, or spend.  For instance a medical procedure that our insurance deems elective is having a large mole removed from above my eyebrow.  As an elective, this simple procedure is going to run me $3000. out-of-pocket.  There are other things that have taken priority over this. I know women that have gotten boob jobs for less than that!  At this point all financial decisions are weighed against my daughter’s upcoming college years.
  3. Education – Any class I decide to take or that may benefit me for personal gain, not covered by job requirements will go here.
  4. Family – Establishing time to spend with my family, planned outings, vacations, or simply a game night.  Last year I had set the goal of 24 dates with the hubs.  There are 52 weeks in a year, you’d think that we could have managed 26 dates but no.  Missed that one by a mile.
  5. Artistic – Do you want to achieve any artistic goals?  this past year I decided to rekindle my interest in drawing, and managed about five sketches.  Granted, four of them were illustrations for my own purposes for my books, but it helped me to gain a visual as well as getting back in the swing of sketching.
  6. Attitude – Our mindset is the biggest aid or enemy.  I find that in some categories I am my own worst enemy, in some I’m a slave driving task master, and in others I’m a great cheerleader for myself.  Hey, we all have our strengths and weaknesses.  Is any part of your mindset holding you back? (If so, set a goal to improve your behavior or find a solution to the problem.)
  7. Physical –  This is where my weight loss goals go, as well as my fitness goals.  I had planned to lose 50 pounds this past year, but I only managed 26.  However slow progress it may be it is still progress, right?  It’s more about overall health than weight loss for me.  In the coming year I have set specific SMART goals for myself in this area.  This is one of the areas I have struggled with.  Newton’s 3rd law of motion definitely applies to me here, an object at rest tends to stay at rest.  It is with great effort that I drag myself to the gym. I’m not happy with where I am, but I’m not accepting it and saying oh well.  I’m doing something to change it even if it is slow progress.
  8. Pleasure – We are creatures of comfort.  We will seek pleasure out in whatever form is easily obtainable.  By planning in fun time, I insure that I will be productive during the work part.  I am allocating myself a certain amount of time per month for playing games, the new Tombraider will be out this year and I still haven’t beat Underworld.  Then again, I thin I’ve maybe spent a total of six hours gaming in the past year.  Trust me, I do better with some down time.  Work hard, play harder!
  9. Public Service – This is where I allocate the volunteer work, charitable donations, and any other contribution in whatever form.  Whether it’s purchasing and delivering bottled water for tornado victims  or working as an usher during a church service; serving others helps me to keep my head, and realize that I indeed have much to be thankful for.
  10. Personal Goals – This is where I put those things that don’t tidily apply to other areas.  For instance, reading goals.  Last year I set myself a goal to read 26 books. One book for each letter of the alphabet.  Either the title or the author had to begin with the letter.  I’ve read 38 books this year, and none for letters Q or X.  Darn, missed that one.  I set myself reading goals every year.

What about you?  Do you set goals for yourself?  Try to set your bar just a little harder so that you have to push yourself.  We are capable of more than we realize.  This is the whole reason why a personal trainer can get you to do more than you can yourself, because they push you.  They encourage you.  They see the long-term effect where as we get hung up on the momentary discomfort.  Hey those first few weeks in the gym were killers!

Spend some time brainstorming what you want to accomplish this next year, and then select one or more goals in each category that best reflect what you want to do. You may also want to consider just a single goal in each category if it seems overwhelming.  For me,  I like having a long checklist of things I have achieved, so I make several goals.  For each year I make the number of goals equal to the number of years of my age. You may want to consider trimming yours down so that you have a small number of really significant goals that you can focus on.

As you do this, make sure that the goals that you have set are ones that you genuinely want to achieve, not ones that your parents, family, or employers might want. (If you have a partner, you probably want to consider what he or she wants – however, make sure that you also remain true to yourself!)

Here’s the thing, if we don’t set ourselves goals we achieve nothing.  We just go with the flow, day-to-day and end the year the same as we did last year, or the year before, or the year before that.

Failure to plan is planning to fail.  I don’t like to fail.  I’ve found that if I don’t set myself goals to achieve, I drift aimlessly and achieve nothing.  I’m of the belief that we get one shot.  This is not a dress rehearsal, it’s the main event.  I want to be the best me I can be while I’m here and contribute to the world around me in a positive way.

What about you?  Got plans?  Got an areas that you’re not satisfied with?  If you’re content, could you give your time or energy to less fortunate people?  There’s always something more that we can do, but it’s a personal plan for each and every one of us.

Write on my friends, write on.

4 comments on “S.M.A.R.T. Goals

  1. Wow, that is a lot of planning, rather than looking at things as a fail I think you should be amazed by all you did accomplish as you had extra things added to your plate and I don’t see you giving yourself credit for places/things that you did that weren’t on the list. /lecture over

    I don’t make many concrete goals right now as I tend to make them too big and then feel like a failure when I don’t meet them. I did read over 200 books this year… I need to make sure that is reflected on goodreads so I can see the accomplishment. I had career/work goals this year that did not happen but at the same time I accomplished business goals I hadn’t expected to this year. Being hit by a truck reminded me that sometimes we need to focus on smaller goals (subsets) so we can see progress and feel less like failures.


  2. Pingback: It Is Time For Those 2013 Goals! « Run, Leap, Dance, Peace: Fitness for Life and Joy

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