Monday, March 19, 2012

Setting Goals 101 - Keeping Your Business and Personal Life on Track


For this post, I'm going to open up and share some of what happens behind the scenes for me. I've shared before that I have a lot going on in my life; full time non-design job, graduate school at night, running a stationery business, and being a wife/friend/human. Whoa.

Often, when I check my emails I see subject lines that read "Jackie - How do you do it all?" or "Any tips for staying afloat?". They always make me think, hmm.

In one aspect it's flattering that people think I'm a master juggler, but on the other hand I feel like you all give me way too much credit. I'm really not wonder-woman, and I really don't think I do a fantastic job with balancing full time work/school/business/personal life. At the moment I'm not mastering any one aspect of my life, however I'm not failing at anything either, so I guess that's a sign that I'm doing something right.

One thing that I do for all aspects of my life is set goals. I believe in goal setting so much that, at my 9-5 gig, I developed, wrote and now teach an entire class on creating personal development plans and setting attainable goals.

To me, having written goals is like going to the grocery store with a shopping list. If you have everything you want (your goals) written down, you are more likely to leave the store having accomplished everything you set out to accomplish. On the other hand, if you go to the store without a shopping list (no specific goals) you may end up blowing your budget on junk food, while still forgetting to buy the basics you needed to make a dinner.

The same goes for professional, personal and business goals as well. If you write down everything you want to accomplish, and check in to see how you're doing, you are more likely to end up where you want to be.

So, how do you write a good goal? First and foremost, be S..M.A.R.T. about the goals. If you haven't heard of S.M.A.R.T. goals yet, let me explain a little for you:

Keep in mind that not every goal needs to follow the above to a tee, however, I make sure ALL of my own goals are specific, specific, specific and time-bound. If nothing else, having a specific goal with a deadline is enough to at least help you feel like you're working towards something.

So, what does a goal actually look like? Well, here's a break down of one of mine:


You may remember when I talked about my fear of taxes in another post, so here's the goal actually written out. As you can see, I found ways to make the goal work for me, along with a way to track my success on reaching that goal.

I hope this post is helpful for you, and I'd love to hear some of your S.M.A.R.T. personal or business goals!

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