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Hey there. Welcome to 2024 week 3. I will continue January’s theme of goal-setting.

January: Goal Setting

Week 1: Daydream about what you want to achieve. click here to read it.

Week 2: Ask “why” to understand the reasons behind your goals. Read that here

Week 3: It’s time to get S.M.A.R.T.

It’s great to know what your goal is, and why you want to achieve it. But it can still be hard to take action with just those two things. It’s time to break your goals down to be S.M.A.R.T.

What is S.M.A.R.T?. It’s an acronym you can use to help you understand the details of your goal.

  • Specific: What is the goal exactly? example: I want to walk 8k steps a day, six out of seven days per week. (Originally, I said, “I want to walk more” but that is not specific enough)
  • Measurable: How will you know you achieved it? ex: I will use my smartwatch to measure steps.
  • Actionable: What are the actions you need to take to achieve the goal? ex: The action is walking.
  • Result Oriented – What are the results I will achieve? ex: walking gets easier as I do it more consistently and it has a positive impact on my health.
  • Timebound: When will you accomplish the goal? ex: I will assess my success on March 31st.

But what if my goal is hard to measure?

Many goals can be much harder to measure than a step count, so we have to get creative about how to make the goal S.M.A.R.T. Example: “To feel more confident”. How the heck do you measure that?

Here’s how I would recommend it.

Specific: I want to have a feeling of confidence more often than I do today.

Measurable: I will assess my current confidence level and then compare my future confidence to today’s assessment. To do this I could:

  1. Set an alarm periodically and capture how you are feeling in a tracker
  2. Every night, ask yourself and write down, “Did I feel confident today? Why or why not?”.
  3. Ask yourself every morning, “How was I feeling yesterday?” Write it down.
  4. Journal about your day, and then analyze the words you are using to assess your level of confidence.

(The writing website 750 words will do that for you. The site pulls out the feelings in your words and gives you a report like this)

Actionable: A feeling isn’t an action; actions you take will influence your feelings. So, in this case, experiment with and try out different actions to see if they increase confidence. Remind yourself of your core values. Say a mantra. Talk to a trusted friend or family member. Speak to a therapist or coach. Ask yourself when you felt confident before and why. Then try to recreate that.

Results-oriented: You will know more about how confident (or not) you are feeling each day, and you will have practiced actions that create confidence for yourself in the future.

Timebound. Track your feelings and actions for 90 days, or however long you decide

A new way to write your smart goal.

Sometimes I have had a hard time with the S.M.A.R.T. framework in its raw form and have better luck defining my smart goals using this template provided to me by my coach

By [insert date and Time]

I will have achieved [Specific, Actionable, Results )

I will know I am done because [the thing to Measure]

This is important to me because [my true why]

If you have trouble with the S.M.A.R.T. framework, give this template a try to see if it helps.

There is one more very important step!

Once your goal is S.M.A.R.T., write down actions you will take in the next week.

Choose a minimum of 1, and a maximum of 10 actions you will take over the next week to make progress on that goal. If you don’t take this step, it will be so much harder for you to get started and make progress.

For the “feel more confident” goal, you might write this down for the upcoming week.

  • Create a confidence tracker and put it in a location to remind you to use it.
  • Track your level of confidence every night, asking yourself how you felt that day.
  • Do a little Google search to find things you can do that will increase confidence.
  • Write down three different actions you will try that could increase confidence.
  • Practice one of those actions every day.

Work-related goals

Apply this same framework to all your work-related goals in addition to your personal goals. I write my work-related goals using the template I shared with you, and it works very well to keep me on track. It makes it very clear where I need to ask my manager for more clarity. Then, once the goal is defined, I review it every week and identify the one to three actions I will take in the coming week to make progress on the goal. It is the #1 think that I do that helps me stay on top of good performance at work.

This weeks homework

This week, your homework is to practice breaking down at least one of your goals into a S.M.A.R.T. goal and then choosing the minimum of one action and maximum of ten actions you will take this week to make progress on the goal.

And I would love to hear from you. Let me know how it’s going!

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Copyright InspiredLeader LLC 2023

P.S.

Update on my goals

  • Walking: How often did I walk 8K steps? – 6 out of the last 7 days
  • One on One Fun: Did I have one-on-one fun with my family this week? Yes! We went to Boston together on Saturday and saw the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
  • Hustle or anti-hustle? Still both. There was less multi-tasking than last week, but there was one urgent item at work that felt like a hustle. I did make time for rest.
  • Reading? Stamped from the beginning by Ibram X. Kendi. This week I read from page 177 to page 238. Average of 9 pages a day. This is less than last week but still progress!