Goals... How SMART

While organizing my files earlier today, I revisited these goals which I set for myself two and half years ago:
  • Make a difference
  • Travel
  • Learn
  • Get out of employment
  • Make enough money to get by 

Drawn up in early January in 2014, these were meant to be some sort of new year resolutions. In examining them today, the following observations can be made:
  • As is the case for most new year resolutions, they failed to serve any purpose as they were soon forgotten. For plans to have an impact, they have to be implemented and the progress and effectiveness of the implementation evaluated.
  • Most of them do not serve well as goals. They did give some general ideas of the things I have always wanted to do, but their inadequacy becomes obvious when assessed against the criteria of SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Result-focused, Time-bound).
  • Such shortcomings notwithstanding, I would like to think that those are the broad directions I have been following between then and now, and what is most gratifying is that I can proudly check the box for the item ‘get out of employment’, which obviously is the outcome of my conviction that I have ‘[made] enough money to get by’.

There is, of course, no room for complacency. Now that I am entirely responsible for the way I live my life and no longer have the excuse that I am so busy with my job that I have no time for anything else, goals have a vital role to play for giving direction and driving achievement. Setting some SMART goals is, therefore, an urgent task.

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