Setting smart goals

27 Dec

When I started this blog it was because I had a gut feeling it’d be a good thing for me to do. And I had a loose goal to publish a post at least once a week until Christmas. My gut instinct was right – I’ve learned loads, got lots out of it and really enjoyed it. But now I’ve achieved my goal of continuing until Christmas, I’m not sure I want to carry on.

Smart

Is that because my goal wasn’t very well thought out? Or is it because the pleasure attached to goals is often gained while working towards them, rather than actually achieving them? Probably a bit of both.

There are lots of goals I could have had for my blog. I could have aimed to attract business for my copywriting agency, boost my personal profile, generate advertising revenue, build a following to sell products to, develop a portfolio of writing, become a WordPress expert, work towards a book – the list goes on. The problem was, I didn’t figure out why I wanted to post once a week until Christmas. So now that I have, the impetus has gone.

A popular goal-setting technique is to ensure your goals are SMART. The SMART way says that goals should be:

Specific

The more specific you are about a goal, the more likely you are to achieve it. The specifics of my goal were to start a blog giving ideas for tips, tools and treats for busy women.

Measurable

To keep yourself motivated in the pursuit of your goal, you need to be able to track how well you’re doing. My measure was to write at least one post a week until Christmas.

Achievable

If you’re to keep striving for a goal (and remember it’s the striving for goals where much of the happiness is), it needs to be achievable. Win the lottery this Saturday isn’t realistically an achievable goal, but writing a blog post once a week was for me.

Relevant

This is where I fell down. I didn’t think carefully enough about the relevance of my goal and what it would bring me. Why was a writing a blog for busy women? Why was I aiming to write a post a week until Christmas? Where would it get me?

Timed

Without a time frame for your goal there’s no sense of urgency. Maybe my goal should have been that I wanted to achieve XYZ by Christmas rather than wanting to simply carry on until Christmas. I unintentionally gave myself a reason to stop.

So if you’re setting goals for 2013, think really carefully about why you’re setting them. The why in goal setting is the beacon you’re aiming for. The motivation to keep you going. Why do you want to exercise three times a week? Because you want to run a marathon? Because you want to have fewer illnesses? Because you want to look better?

I’ll leave you to ponder what you want to achieve next year – Emma Gwillim’s 2013 goal planner is a great way to get started. Meanwhile, I’ll decide where to go, or not to go, next with my blog.

Wishing you a very bright and happy 2013!

Thanks for reading. If you know other busy ladies who’d like this or other Happy Being Busy posts, please let them know. There are sharing buttons for Facebook, Twitter, email and more at the bottom of each post on www.happybeingbusy.com

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4 Responses to “Setting smart goals”

  1. Lydia Leach December 28, 2012 at 3:33 pm #

    So true Laura, so true. Have seen so many goals go by the wayside over the years. Don’t stop blogging though – I love the pearls of wisdom in my inbox!

    • Laura Silcock December 29, 2012 at 8:08 am #

      Aw, thank you! It’s so nice to know it’s enjoyed!

  2. Mark May 23, 2013 at 12:59 pm #

    First time commenter…like your blog title! It reminds me of myself. Sadly sometimes I think I’m keeping busy for the sake of being busy. But I am recently beginning to see some results with a shift in mindset. I feel the SMART formula doesn’t look much at motivation and authenticity in goal setting so much as it does the mechanics.

    I know its a blog for women but thought I’d throw in my 2 cents.

    • Laura Silcock May 24, 2013 at 10:50 am #

      Thanks Mark. I think I’m guilty of keeping myself busy when I could actually put my feet up too. Great you’ve found a new mindset. I’ll bear your comment in mind if I write another article about goal-setting. Thanks!

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