Lately, some planners I've been looking at go from one extreme to the other. They have quarterly goals, monthly goals, weekly goals, goals for the day; career goals, life goals, financial goals, ... oh my reeling head. When do you stop goal setting and start working?
In thinking back over my life, I realise I never heard of setting goals for myself until I went to TAFE. Why? I don't know.
I don't think my parents ever set goals. There was always 'some rainy day', 'what's your dream', and other trite sayings, but I was not taught about goals. I don't think my parents knew the word. I realise whatever goals they may have had may have been pushed to the back of the cupboard as they grappled with sick children, eye surgeries, pregnancies and miscarriages, and life in general.
As a young woman, I certainly didn't have goals. As a mother I tried to give my children what they asked for, (Dancing lessons for my daughter, horse riding for my son), I worked beside my husband in HIS Business. Yes, his. It wasn't my idea or dream but as a good wife I did what I could to help him. My dreams, the few I had, were immaterial. (And I bet there are more than a few heads nodding in agreement.)
So, I go to TAFE and hear about setting short- and long-term goals. Yeah, I understood it in a business sense (Wish I knew about those before my husband decided to go into business). Even so, it was still a bit nebulous. And it didn't really click.
I joined a network marketing company and they talked about setting goals and writing them out five times daily, and all that. Still really didn't register.
Then I went to a workshop by QWC. Whatever the blurb was, Goal setting wasn't mentioned, but that was the workshop was about. I do hate it when something is advertised and then you find it is something totally different. However, I did pick up a hint. It has taken a while, but it has finally worked its way into the right place and things are finally slotting into place.
Yes, write your SMART goal out, but include a ‘reward’ for achieving it, AND a ‘penalty’ for not achieving it, (Of course, six weeks in hospital throws a spanner in the works, but the goal can be adjusted).
So my hints for Goal Setting are:
- Specific- put a name to your goal. It does not have to be a gigantuous goal like retiring as a trillionaire. It can be as simple as completing a task or buying a new Mixmaster.
- Measurable- this is how you know you are on track. For a Mixmaster, it can be saving x amount a fortnight until you have the purchase price.
- Achievable- Let's face it, buying a little Holden Barina is a lot more achievable than buying a Ferrari. Retiring as a trillionaire is definitely not achievable when you a living on Centrelink or working at MacDonalds.
- Relevant/Realistic - what is relevant to you may not be relevant to someone else. I am not going to buy a super-duper TV when I don't watch TV. I much prefer documentaries on You Tube so a bigger computer monitor may be in the picture.
- Timeliness - put a date on it. When are you going to do this by?
- Reward - so you are walking out of the Good Guys with your new Mixmaster, now reward yourself for it. Buy a box of chocolates after all it was on SPECIAL, and you saved yourself $20.
- Penalty - dire circumstances excepted, what are you going to do if your deadline comes, and you haven't achieved your goal?
FOR EXAMPLE, my first goal a few years ago went like this:
Goal: Unbroken Vow
By February 28, 2019 (Time), I will have an outline (Achievable; it is an outline and not the novella) for my Unbroken Vow novella documented (Specific). This will include the chapters that go into making up the story (Measurable). If this is not done, I will not watch any YouTube documentaries (Penalty) until it is done. If I achieve my goal, I will buy myself a bottle of wine (Reward).
Although not stated, this is relevant to me, and realistic. I set this goal sometime in January, so I had an entire month to do it in.
There is one more item I would recommend in dealing with your goals. If they are a long-term goal, it is advisable to break the goal in to tasks with their own deadlines. Eg by Jan 31 I will have finished my character dossiers.
Now you know about SMART goals, but have you heard of DREAMR goals? They go like this:
- Doable – Do you have the time, the skills, the equipment, the willpower to do what is necessary for this goal?
- Realistic – Is this goal realistic to you?
- Exciting – Does achieving this goal excite you? Will you be excited when you have achieved this goal?
- Achievable – Have you broken the overall goal into steps/tasks you need to do to achieve this Goal?
- Measurable – How will you measure this? How do you know when you have achieved this goal? How successful was your goal?
- Reward and Re-plan – What is your reward for achieving this goal? Do you need to re-plan your goal? Do you need a new goal?