Everyone Needs Goals

Wow. I’ve never had goals presented that way to me before. I just give directions and expect the tasks to be carried out or I decide I want to do something and just expect it to happen. Eventually. Not until I heard a great speech by Elisha Lowe, did I really put my expectations of myself and those I interact with on a daily basis into perspective. The rest of what you will read is a combination of nuggets she dropped on me and the revelations that resulted.

No matter what type of caregiver you are, you need to have goals. This means parents should have goals for how they will raise their children. Adult children should have goals for how they will care for their aging parents. Nurses should have goals relative to how they will care for their patients. We all need goals. Without goals, we are doomed to drift into the abyss and never be heard from again. That’s not really true, but you get the point. What is true is that without goals, it we are likely to take much longer to accomplish a task than we first intended. Do you notice that I keep using the pronoun “we”? That is because I am guilty of not setting goals too.

Inspect What You Expect: The Danger in Setting Dumb Goals.

A sure fire way to plummet off the deep end in life is the set dumb goals. Image that you want to learn how to cook gourmet meals. Would you research information on how to swim? Would you invest in buying a new washing machine? Or new shoes? Well, shoes are always appropriate, so I will let that one slide. Common sense would tell you that you have to invest in cooking classes. You would want to purchase a new stove and quality utensils. As your skills grow, you should invest in the items that will help you to continue to succeed. Dumb goals won’t help you hit your target. Enter, the SMART goal.

A great way to make sure the goals you set are appropriate for your life is to make them SMART. Smart is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.

Smart goals dumb goalsWhat does it mean to be specific? In the realm of goal setting, it means that you attempt to cover map out every aspect of your goal. It’s best to do the grunt work in the beginning so all you have to do is work on accomplishing the smaller tasks that will get you to the end result. You want to include WHO will be involved in helping you bring this goal to life. Another important aspect of being specific is WHAT tools you will need to accomplish your goal. WHEN will you start working on this goal? You should clearly define when you are going to start working on your goal. WHERE will accomplishing this goal take you? I am not talking about a physical place, but will your goal bring your closer to a new mindset? Will it line you up for other things in life? You should always start with the end in mind. The final piece of the “be specific” pie is the WHY. Be honest with yourself about why you want to set this goal.

Measuring your progress is important. You need to be able to gauge where you are and how far you have left before you can claim success. You should also measure what you put into achieving the goal. Track how much money is spent, how much time you invest, and how much experience you’ve gained since you started this journey. How great would it be for you to be able to be a resource for someone else that has the same aspirations as you? Don’t take goal setting lightly. You are courageous for stepping out on faith and doing what it takes to propel your life forward.

How can you make sure that your goal is attainable? This is where you honestly assess your strengths and weaknesses. Don’t sell yourself short. You are capable of much more than you think, but you don’t want to overextend yourself either. At this point in the process, figure out just how much you can bend without breaking. With the next goal, you can stretch a bit further.

Is your goal relevant? Will accomplishing this goal bring meaning to your life? It has to make sense. This is where being specific really counts. Is this goals for entertainment purposes only? Do you want to shift the atmosphere or your life? The decision is ultimately yours.

How much time will it take you to accomplish this goal? Don’t give yourself too much time where you no longer have a sense of urgency to accomplish it. You also shouldn’t make your timeline too short. If you do, you will always feel rushed and may become discouraged. We do not want that. Set the completion of your goal using a time-frame that conveys a sense of urgency and prompts you to get done in a timely manner. That way, you can move on to the next item on your list.

Employing these suggestions during your goal making strategy sessions will make a world of difference. You won’t be all over the place with your planning and will be more productive. Please let me know if you plan to try setting SMART goals now or if you have in the past. I’d really like to get your feedback. If you’ve already encountered success using SMART goals, let me know that too.

Goals - Signature