Happy New Year! I’m not a big fan of new year resolutions - I’m like most of the population who storm in strong and fade out fast by February. I envy those who are able to stick strong all year long. This year, I’m not going to set any resolutions. But I am going to set some goals to accomplish. This brings up a little problem for me. No one ever taught me how to actually create a goal. It sounds silly, especially since I’ve been been encouraged by others to go after my dreams my entire life. Here I am at 40, just learning how to truly set a goal.
I had to do some research (which I am a big fan of!). Did you know that the single act of writing down your goals actually gets you closer to achieving them? I didn’t. I also learned some rules for creating goals called SMART goals. For those of you like me, SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time Specific. Yes, I am a college graduate. Yes, it took me until now to understand goals. A bit embarrassing, but it is what it is.
I sat down over the holidays with a nice cup of warm pumpkin spiced chai, and started writing out my goals for 2016 following the SMART guidelines. I figured perhaps you’d like to see what a few of mine are, so here we go…
My number one goal is to be a better mom. Putting it through SMART, I came up with the following:
There are three specific things I think I can do better at being a mom: put down the phone/technology more often, prepare more healthy meals and snacks, and clear out clutter around the home.
I think putting down the phone/technology is more of a mindfulness exercise that I’m not sure how to measure. Preparing more healthy meals and snacks is simply a matter of making a meal plan and sticking to it. I can measure this by comparing what my plan is to what we actually ate. Consistently sticking with the plan will show me that I am doing better at this. Clearing the clutter can be measured by daily making time to set aside 15 minutes a day to focus on one specific area. I will see a huge difference if I just work for 15 minutes a day. All three of these are things that I can take notes on in my notebook each day to help see my progress. Obviously they are all attainable and relevant, and I will review my progress monthly, quarterly, and at the end of the year.
Another of my goals is to grow my photography business, but this, too, has many smaller goals within in that can be measured. For example, I want my systems to be finalized within my software by the end of March. I want to create more connection/consistency in my connection, so I have written a plan for blogging and social media. If I just stick to the schedule, I will do this well! I want to try new things in my business, including the introduction of film. I plan to shoot at least one roll of film per month, and start working film into my sessions, as well. Again, all attainable and relevant. I expect to review my progress monthly, quarterly, and at the end of the year for these goals, also.
So, I am working hard to make them even more specific - really drilling down into it in my notebooks. It takes time and tweaking.
What goals do you have for 2016? How do you set and track them? I’d love to hear about it!