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August 22, 2017

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Getting S.M.A.R.T.er With Your Goals

Can you believe it? 2004! Itís a leap year again and therefore another presidential election will be taking place. And the last one happened a whole year before 9/11. Stop and think - Y2K was four years ago now.

A new year generally conjures up the concept of a fresh new slate. And with it we are apt to be setting professional and personal goals for the first quarter and the whole year to come. Starting a new job? Increasing sales? Expanding your market? Getting a promotion? Spending more time with your family? Designing new products or programs? Adding exercise to your life...again? Meeting more new people? Planning more mini vacations? Going back to school? What are your plans?

Many articles on the newsstands focus on New Yearís Resolutions at this time of year. Whatever you wish to call them, letís look at how to better design them. Here are some statements that you may have heard.

  1. I hate my boss and need to find a better job this year.

  2. I missed the bonus I was counting on so I have to have a better year in my sales numbers.

  3. The market is too competitive for me; I need to find new niches for my products or services.

  4. With s/he retiring, I just have to get the promotion this summer.

  5. Look at those school pictures from last year. The kids are getting older and there are a lot of things Iíve missed in their lives. They wonít be young forever.

  6. All I do is buy larger clothes; I have to go on a diet in January.

And the list can go on and on. Yet, there is something missing in all of these statements. The intentions are real but theyíre not SMART. Whether youíve learned them in the past and this is a refresher, or this is your first experience with them, letís look at how you can get SMARTer with your goals.

S - Specific - (use clear language, minimize ambiguity)

M - Measurable -(set a goal that can be evaluated, include quantifiers)

A - Agreed Upon -(create a goal that can be achieved with the energy and resources of those who need to be involved)

R - Realistic (set high standards but only high enough that they can be achieved)

T - Time Sensitive -(set a timeline for when the goal is to be completed)

So how will one of those earlier statements look when re-written for greater success?

1. During the first quarter of 2004, I will begin a search for a new job to bring greater happiness into my life.

2. By January 15, I will analyze the aspects of my current job and supervisor that I like and dislike. (Note: A personís relationship with his/her supervisor has one of the greatest impacts on oneís happiness at work.)

3. By January 22, I will review my current financial situation with my spouse (or alone) to evaluate my needs for a new position.

4. By January 31, I will review all of my resources and contacts as I enter this job search.

5. By February 14, I will have my resume redone, reviewed, and ready for distribution.

6. By February 28, I will create a list of potential employers I would like to work for in my area.

As SMART as all of this may be beginning to sound, what do you think is missing that we need for success? For some of us, we can do it alone but my experience is that most of us, including organizations canít. Itís the follow through! Brainstorming with many or for one individual on a path of self-discovery is always exciting. But what happens when we return to the real world of routine and obligations. We often lose sight of the track we need to be on in order to move forward. In my work with organizations and individuals, goal setting is often part of my offering. But accountability and support are crucial.

Happy and Healthy New Year and get SMARTer with your goals in 2004!

- Joshua A. Sky, MA
Joshua A. Sky, MA, lives in Southwest Florida. His approach to coaching is holistic, looking at issues in both the professional and personal sectors of your life. Joshua uses an assessment tool to help his clients identify their own behavioral styles. This helps them to develop by knowing how these impact time management skills, integrating work and personal life, goal setting, increasing sales and productivity, project management issues and most importantly reaching for the SKY in realizing their own dreams. Joshua served as President of the Southwest Florida Chapter of the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) and is an active member of both the International Coach Federation (ICF) and the International Association of Coaches (IAC). To schedule a complimentary coaching session today, contact Joshua @ 239-949-6529 or via e-mail: JSky@theskysthelimitconsulting.com.

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