Since I performed abysmally on my goals for the past two years, I’ve decided to shake up how I’m writing my goals this year. As I was googling to get some inspiration for goals for this year, I saw some articles with tips on how to write better goals. One of those tips was something that I know very well from my work-life – making SMART goals!
- Specific – it should be clear exactly what you are trying to achieve (e.g., rather than say “eat healthier”, you need to specify in way, like “eat more vegetables” or “consume less sugar”)
- Measurable – it should have an indication of how you will measure if you achieved it (e.g., eat a minimum of 5 servings of vegetables at least 4 days a week)
- Achievable – it should be something that is within your control1 and realistic enough to achieve2 – though you don’t want to make it too easy to achieve – it should be somewhat of a challenge so you have to work to achieve it.
- Relevant – it should be something that matters to you, otherwise you won’t be motivated to work towards it.
- Time-bound – it should have a date associated with it so that it’s not just an open-ended “well, I haven’t achieved it yet, but maybe someday it will happen!).
All of my yearly goals are, by definition, time-bound since they are to be completed within the year and I’m usually good at making them measurable and specific, but I’ve done a double check on this year’s goals to make sure they met all the elements of SMART.
The other idea that I saw was to phrase the goals as if they were already achieved – a technique that I’m familiar with from writing vision statements and learning objectives. So I’m going to give that a try!
By December 31, 2018:
- I have deadlifted more than my own body weight. I’m close to having done this, but never quite got to my own body weight (I thought I had, but then went home and weighed myself and discovered that I’d put on my weight than I’d realized due to building up all this muscle from strength training!)
- I have done a chin-up or pull-up without the help of any resistance bands. I’ve had some training programs where I’ve been doing chin ups or pulls up, but I’m not yet able to lift my own body weight, so I stand in resistance bands that are hung from the bar, which takes a bit of my weight. I started with three different resistance bands and now I’m down to one or two. I think within 12 months I can get to doing them all on my own3
- I meditate at least once per week.
- I have written in my journal at least one time per week, on average. – I think I set my journal writing goal too high in 2017 and then got discouraged when I got so far behind that it felt like I’d never catch up! One a year seems more realistic.
- I have brought my lunch to work at least 75% of the time.
Personal growth-related goals:
- I learned 12 new things and wrote a blog posting about each of them.
- I read 18 books – and written a review of each. I failed miserably at my book reading goal in 2016, but I’m hoping that my work team gets moved to the new location we are supposed to be moving to – which is transit accessible – soon in the new year, so that I’ll be taking the Skytrain and bus more, which will provide me with more time for reading! Also, my book club is getting a reboot4, so that will help motivate me too!
- I’ve sewn 5 items. I really enjoyed the sewing classes I did last year and want to do more sewing. I’d like to take the zippered pouch class and perhaps make a few more tote bags.
- I’ve made 18 new foods and/or beverages that I’ve never made before – and blogged about each of them. I have ideas for some things I want to try making and I’m sure I’ll be inspired with other ideas throughout the year.
- I’ve submitted 3 papers for publication. I have one that is almost ready to be submitted and ideas for two others and I’m really need to dedicate the time to sit down and write them!
- I’ve set up and implemented a performance planning and review system for my team at work. Now that I have a team (that is more than just me and one other person), I think it’s high time I set this up.
Getting organized goals:
- I’ve applied for a Nexus card.
- I’ve finished Konmaring my condo
- I’ve painted my condo.
- I’ve bought a freezer. I currently only have the small freezer on the top of my fridge and I feel so limited by it. I want to be able to make big batches of things (like lasagna or chili) and then freezer them to have for lunches. So my plan is to clean up my office enough to
Miscellaneous other goals:
- I’ve donated blood twice.
- I’ve published 118 blog postings. That’s just a little more than one every 3 days, on average, or about 10 per month.
- Of those blog postings, I’ve published at least six that are long form (minimum of 3000 words). I feel like I should write some more thoughtful pieces, so I’m going to give it a try.
- Of course, sometimes things happen that make something that was achievable no longer so – such as if you set a goal to run a marathon but then got injury. But it shouldn’t be something that is clearly outside of your control or you can’t work towards achieving it. [↩]
- I mean, as much as I’d like to make $1 billion this year, it’s pretty damn unlikely to happen, so then you are just setting yourself up for failure! [↩]
- Some people at the gym do chin ups or pull ups while wearing a heavy chain – or a chain with weights attached! – that’s going to be a longer-term goal for me. [↩]
- Thanks to Cath for rebooting us! [↩]