Friday, October 17, 2008

Working Towards A Goal

I tend to set Big Goals.

This is both a good thing and a bad thing. It's a good thing because a Big Goal gives me something to focus on and work towards. It's a bad thing because sometimes I get discouraged along the way simply because it seems like I've been working on the same goal for ages. Of course "ages" is completely subjective especially when you're working on something big because there is going to be an element of time involved.

Case in point. I've just finished writing a chapter for a colleague's upcoming book and I've just completed creating a deck of 60 inspirational cards and a companion booklet for the deck. I was (and am) excited about both these projects even though they were big and would take some time to complete. While logically I knew I was looking at a couple of months worth of work to complete both projects, part way through both projects I found myself feeling like the time was rushing forward and I was still working on these projects; it seemed like I wasn't getting anything done and it was taking forever.

While setting big goals is a great thing to do, it would probably have been wiser for me to create small goals or benchmarks within that Big Goal. By creating small goals within a big goal, I would have seen the progress I was making and I also would have created a sense of accomplishment and excitement as I continued to work towards completing the Big Goal. Without those small goals, all I saw was how much more I still had to do and at times it was frustrating. Ahh well, live and learn!

Goals, big or small always need to be S.M.A.R.T:
  • Specific

  • Measureable

  • Attainable

  • Realistic

  • Timely
Write them down, then check to see if they meet the SMART criteria and edit as necessary. Then write out several copies and stick them in places where it's easy to see them often so they act as a visual reminder and a motivator.

So remember when you're creating a goal, make it BIG, and then make sure you put smaller goals within it or at the very least some benchmarks so you can see the progress you're making. It will keep you motivated and help you achieve your Big Goal.