SMART Goals. Day Four: Specific

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Welcome to Day Four of my series on SMART goal setting. This is where we really get down to brass tacks and talk about how we can make our goals more specific.

For me this is the easiest part. It’s also the most satisfying. By the end of this session we’ll feel like you’ve got a handle on your goals and like we might actually have a shot at achieving them this year.

This is the point where we take our big picture goals and break them down until they look more like a plan than a dream.

Lose 10kg. Lose 30kg. Get healthy.

First, forget losing 30kg. Start with losing 10kg. How can I lose 10kg? We all know the answer to this one: diet and exercise. How will that look, specifically, in my life?

Exercise: I’m going to go swimming twice a week and go for a walk every day. It doesn’t sound like much, but it’s more than I’m doing now. I’ll get better results pursuing an achievable regime than a perfect one that I won’t follow.

Diet: Goodbye, chocolate, it was nice knowing you. I’m going to allow myself one small treat a day, because I know from experience that if I don’t, I’ll never stick to it and end up eating ten treats a day in a guilt-filled fog of remorse. I’m going to eat at least one home cooked, balanced meal a day. Again, this is a big improvement on my current practice.

Sleep: Since being sick, I know that I need more sleep in order to feel well. My pain is always worse when I haven’t slept properly. I’m establishing bedtime as of January 1st, as well as a bedtime routine to help me get to sleep faster.

Write more.

I’ll make another post about tracking time, but it’s the single most useful productive tool I have. I know that I have two hours free each day after I set aside time for work, family, everyday activities and exercise. My writing speed is 1000-3000 words per hour. That means that my maximum amount of writing production I can do each day is 2000-6000 words. I’m not going to spend the whole 2 hours on writing every day, but I think an hour is achievable. That means I can set a goal of writing 1000 words or for one hour a day.

Save money.

Following budgeting practices to save a proportion of my income to be kept in a separate savings account.

Spend more time on spiritual life.

I have an extra hour a day. I’m going to spend half that hour on my spiritual life, reading or meditating. I’ve set up a special place where I can read and pray in comfort and without distractions. I’ve found the best time for me to fit this into my schedule so that it isn’t going to be swamped by other tasks or lost to wasted time.

Focus more on career.

I have several career goals for this year and a plan for how to work towards achieving them.

Fix the house.

I have a checklist. I have the technology!

This is how being specific makes us feel like we have a definite plan. Think through your goals and see where you can make them more specific to your circumstances and needs. Tomorrow we’ll get into how we can measure our success.

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