Conquering the Creative Work-Life Balance: Goal-Setting Step 3 (SMART Goals Cont.)

So? How’s the SMART goaling going?

I know. I know. It’s been a minute since we talked SMART goals back in Conquering the Creative Work-Life Balance: Goal-Setting Step 3 (SMART Goals).

And, I’m not even going to pretend here. I’m STILL working on some of my SMART goals . . . to this very date. Yes, fine-tuning the goals with added depth and definition (making them SMART) isn’t a task to be taken lightly, because it forces you to bake some accountability and actionable steps into them.

For instance . . .

Let’s go back to the “basic” goal example I used in the blog post, highlighted above:

I will exercise for my health.

Well, it’s a good general idea for working on improving my health. But what do I even do with this goal?

I haven’t included any details. I have nothing that tells me what exercising for my health looks like in order to actually accomplish the goal as outlined above. How do I start on this goal? What does working toward accomplishing this goal look like on a daily basis? What types of exercising need to be done and what part of my health is this exercising supposed to help?

So many questions. Few little answers.

But, when you start adding some details into the goal mix, then the exercising for health becomes a little clearer and actually doable.

So, here’s the basic goal one more time:

I will exercise for my health.

And if I want to make the goal SPECIFIC, where it has a clearly defined expectation that is communicated, then I can add the type of exercising I want to do to bring my goal into focus a bit more. I chose “walking” as the go-to exercise method for my goal.

And if I want to make the goal MEASURABLE, where it can be observed or compared and therefore assigned a number, value, amount, or estimation, then I can add the number of times I intend to walk in a week. By agreeing on a 5-day walk week (Monday through Friday), I can form a routine and gauge my progress (or lack thereof), based on how I follow through with that routine.

And if I want to make the goal ACHIEVABLE, where it’s challenging yet attainable and the necessary resources are accessible, then I better make walking doable on ALL walking days, even when the outdoors may not be a viable option. So, I’ll walk outdoors on nice weather days but go to the mall to walk on days when the weather is somewhat uncooperative.

And if I want to make the goal REALISTIC, where it has a relatable purpose and meaning to the desired outcome, then I can indicate why I’m choosing to do this goal in the first place. By stating that I’m walking to strengthen my heart, I’m making the goal more meaningful to my life. In other words, there’s a REAL purpose for why I want to accomplish this goal.

And if I want to make the goal TIMELY, where it has a certain timeframe for completion or a deadline attached to it, then I can add to the goal’s detail even further, indicating not only how many times a week I will walk but how long I will walk for each walking session.

With all of the above being added to my original “basic” goal, I get more of a SMART goal like the one below:

I will exercise to strengthen my heart by walking in the mornings (around my neighborhood or at the mall when the weather is uncooperative) for at least 5 days out of the week (Monday thru Friday) for 45 minutes to 1 hour a day.

I like the look of it. Such a goal gives me something to go by and to work toward. Its SMARTs will also help me when I’m ready to fit this goal into my daily/weekly schedule. (And, goal scheduling will be the focus in step 4 of the process.)

Well, I’ve come to the end of my SMART talk for today. I’ve got to finish fine-tuning my goals, so I’ll be ready to get them officially integrated into my daily routine. I have some of them haphazardly hanging on to some similitude of consistency in my schedule, but I need to get them fully-integrated so I’m more consistent with them overall.

So, please join me in taking this week to work on and finalize SMART goals, according to the first three “time to completion” categories (below):

  • goals you’d like to start on immediately,
  • goals you’d like to start and complete in the next month,
  • goals you’d like to start and complete within 1 – 3 months, and
  • goals that are more than 3 months away from probable implementation.

(We’ll save the goals that are 3 months or more away for some goal finessing in the future.)

JUST REMEMBER: if we finish the SMARTening of our goal categories this week, then we should be in a prime position to move on with the next step of making them a part of our regular daily/weekly routines.


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