One acronym to help you turn feelings into gold!
"Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare. Vision with action...can change the world". Unknown Author
No, I am not trying to advertise that you will become rich with this post's tips. Hard work and consistency may be needed as well ;-). BUT I have seen in my life and those of others how easy it is to slip after a few weeks or a few months and letting go of our worthy goals. A roadmap to success also need to be about setting the right goals and following through.
If you are in any business setting, you may have heard about smart goals. I just recently was reminded about the idea of setting S.M.A.R.T.E.R goals. This may not be new to you but believe it or not, I am used to set goals this way in a business setting but for some reasons, when I am in my personal life I tend to forget about these tips. So if you do it already this will be a refresher.
Now if you Google these two words, you will find a plethora of different meanings for this acronym. The one that stick with me though is from Danny Iny at Firepole Marketing. Why I like this one so much? First, because I use their small business marketing tools personally and can vouch for the quality of their work. Second, because of the E and R meanings at the end. More on this soon, stay with me. Let’s look at how smarter goals pertain to how I see my intentions coming true this year with one example of mine, while looking at the acronym itself.
If you remember I started the other way around and defined the feelings I want to see more in my life. One of them is being grounded. Under this feeling I have two yearly goals which are then divided under sub goals to make smaller chunks of work or action items and make it feasible.
S is for Specific If I say I want to feel grounded is my goal, it is hard to manifest this in my daily life at this is way too vague. Something more like this works better:
Goal #2: In order to feel grounded I want to take some daily personal time for renewal as of January 2013 and pursuing on.
M is for Measurable This is where the word daily takes its importance. When it is measurable you can monitor your progress and see how you can improve and which strategy you need to put in place to find consistency.
A is for Action Oriented This part is the map to help you get to the destination. This is the how. How will you get from point A to point B?
That is why I had some sub goals, so as to define exactly how will reach the goal I want to take some daily personal time for renewal as of January 2013 and pursuing on.
One of my sub goal is:
Create an evening ritual and review which include:
i. Plan the next day in the last 15 minutes of my work day.
ii. Stop working no later than 10:15 pm.
iii. Reviewing my day and taking note on what went well and what need readjustment.
iv. Writing down my next day’s top 3 priorities.
v. Wash face, brush teeth, floss and gargle with On Guard and peppermint if need be. (10 min)
vi. Practicing the mirror exercises with my wins and victories, affirmations and I love you.
viii. Go to bed no later than 11pm
All of these steps are my map. I could even go further and mention how I will transition from doing almost none of this into all of this. If we impose too many changes on ourselves all at once it is harder to maintain them. However is we are more forgiving with ourselves and not too demanding, we can transition slowly with one thing at a time. This happened organically with me in the last few weeks. I don’t beat myself up because I cannot do it all at once. The point is we need to keep in mind the feelings. Do I feel grounded when reading and going to be no later than 11 pm? If yes and that is all I can do then no problem because this is all about finding the feelings deep down inside that matters to me.
With all that has just been said, we addressed the next letter of the acronym:
R is for realistic If it is not realistic to do it all in one shot then it means we need to divide up the task into smaller pieces that we can chew on. Plans are meant to be changed. At some point we can revise how things are going and see if either we lost consistency or if either it is not feasible in the time-frame we established. That is all right. This is part of the learning process about us and life. I tend to forget that if I need to go somewhere I need to stop working before it is time to go. I might need to use the restroom, pack a lunch or snack for the kids and might be stuck in traffic. Therefore I tend to arrive tight or late almost everywhere I go. This one bad habit is so hard to change for me. But I am working on it, again and again. Some days are better than others.
T is for Time-bound The words says it all. When does that goal need and can be achieved? If there is no deadline, it is solely a dream. To make it a reality you need to have some timeframe or deadline to work with, which in turn is helping you to schedule your monthly, weekly and daily activities. To get there, we need to have a plan and a realistic date for each milestone as well as for the final destination.
E is for Emotional Remember, the goals we want to achieve are not the destinations anymore. They are the map to get to our desired feelings. All the material things and the achievement we are looking for in life are related to one thing: how we want to feel. It is time now to remind ourselves why in the first place did I want to achieve this specific goal? Which emotions will bring into your life enough determination and perseverance to meet each of your goal?
R is for Reward Celebrating our success, how small they feel to us, is tremendously important. It seems that in our society we like to entertain ourselves and yet, sometimes, our only focus is to get to the next thing without stopping to savor the moment. There is no fun on a trip when all you do is try to get to your destination as fast as you can without looking out the window or stopping because you were drawn to. Worst, once you get to a place you are already thinking of your next trip. For each of your milestones and once the final goal is obtained, find ways to reward yourself. It does not need to be related to material possessions. Giving yourself permission not to work for a weekend, spend some quality time with your family or trying something you always wanted to but never did is probably even more rewarding. Experience based rewards can get you closer to the feelings you want more in your life.
Why don’t you try to set some smarter goals for yourself and share your experience with me? Can’t wait to hear about how it feels for you.