Part 2: Pitfalls to Time Management
Part 4: How to Define Your Priorities
Now that we have come this far it is time to start thinking about making practical goals.
Why Set Goals?
Goal setting has not been something that I do often but as I have been evaluating my time management I am realizing that it is important for many reasons. First, I know that setting goals with give me motivation and something to strive for. Second, I know that goal setting will help me to be more disciplined. And lastly, I know that goals are important to evaluating the success of my time management. So I decided I need to get going on making some goals for myself.
Goals are important to give meaning to your daily tasks as well as looking ahead to what you hope to accomplish in the future. In order to start creating goals, you will need to have an idea of your priorities, like I discussed in my last post. Since your priorities are the areas of your life that you have decided to be most important, it is a good idea to create goals based those areas.
If you remember from that post, my big rock or highest priorities center around being healthy; spiritually, physically and in my marriage/relationships. So my most important goals would be focused on those areas. If you are just beginning goal setting, I would suggest starting with your big rock priorities first then moving on to your small rock and sand areas after that.
In order to make goals that you will be able to stick with I think that it is important for them to be specific which is why I like using the SMART method of goal setting. There are many different ways that have been used to identify smart goals, but for the purpose of this post I will use the one described in the book Smart Goals! by Anna Stevens (referral link).
I was initially introduced to SMART goal setting method in college and have since found other books and resources that I have used when researching for this series. I like this method because it helps you set goals that have direction and purpose.
For example, many of you might have the goal to exercise more. But simply writing down ‘exercise more’ as your goal is not very concrete. However, work out for 30 minutes three times a week, is much more specific. This second goal is also much easier to track and measure your progress so you know when you are achieving success.
SMART Goals Acronym
SPECIFIC: This is the what, why and how of your goal. What do you want or need to accomplish? Why is it important? How do you plan to achieve it?
MEASURABLE: For a goal to be measurable it must answer how much or how many. This is important to be able to track your progress.
ACTION ORIENTED: An action oriented goal begins with a specific verb (aka an action) that directs specifically what you will do. Use verbs that indicate doing something rather than just wanting something.
REALISTIC: It is important that your goal is something you can actually attain. You don’t want to make all your goals too easy but you also don’t want to make it too hard or close to impossible as this will only set yourself up to fail.
TIME BOUND: have a specific time frame within which you want to achieve your goal.
In my next post I will explain more about the process of choosing your goals using the priorities that you have laid out for yourself. To get you to start thinking, I’ll give a few ideas using my goals as examples.
Here are some examples of SMART goals that I am working on.
- Spiritual Health
- Start a gratitude journal and write at least one thing to be thankful for every day for the next year (starting November 2013 until November 2014) so that I can learn to give thanks to God for all that he has given me.
- Marriage Health
- Schedule one date night with my husband away from home every month to make sure we are spending quality time together.
- Physical Health
- Do yoga from 6:30-7:00 am every week day as a way to start the day focused and energized.
If you are like me and have not always been a big goal setter, I hope that you are now inspired to start making some smart goals!
Do you like making goals?
What is one goal that you are currently working on?