To Goal or Not To Goal

June 18, 2007 at 10:03 am | Posted in goal setting, goals, Jessica, writing | 1 Comment

This week’s topic is a particularly difficult one for me because when I tackle a goal-setting exercise I feel as though I have stepped up to an all-you-can-eat-buffet.  With so many tempting possibilities, my eyes tend to get bigger than my stomach and before I know it I have helped myself to so many offerings that I will never finish the task I have heaped on my plate.  And with goal-setting, that kind of overestimating can do more harm than good.             

The key to meeting goals is setting SMART goals.                   

If you’ve heeded the call to write, odds are you have a compelling reason for doing so — a mission, if you will. Whether you write for personal or professional reasons your mission statement describes your overall purpose, and any goals you set must work toward accomplishing that mission.  Think of goals as your road map to get you to where you want to go, whether it be this year, over the next five years, or an overall career plan. Goals should be short and long term.         

What do I mean by SMART goals?  The acronym varies slightly from one process to another, but for these purposes the goals should be Specific, Measurable, Appropriate, Realistic, and Timely.               

Specific: The what . . .           

Measurable: How to get there from here?            

Appropriate: Will this goal lead to the intended destination?

Realistic: Is the goal achievable and meaningful?

Timely: Does the goal have a specific timetable? 

One more vital aspect of the planning process:  WRITE DOWN YOUR GOALS!  Write down every step in the process. You have a greater likelihood of staying on task and achieving your goals if you have them written. Keep them handy so that you can refer to them often — they will keep you motivated.  

And if need be, set yourself a reward structure to celebrate reaching each of these milestones. Every step moves you further along your career path and should be celebrated!



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  1. […] chunk of work, break it into smaller bits and schedule it. Goals can be motivators if they’re S.M.A.R.T. Goals 3. Act Wallowing can be a huge barrier. Personally, I spent ½ the week wallowing and now […]

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