I’m a big fan of words of the year (my word for 2016 is “Greater”), vision boards and setting goals. Today, I want to share how my thoughts on setting goals have shifted over the years.
Initially, I was a fan of SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound) goals. Then, I learned how to make SMARTER (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-bound, Ethical and Recorded) ones. Over the years, I have tended to achieve between 7 to 9 (of my 10) SMART-themed goals each year. That’s not too bad.
At the end of 2014, I listened to Michael Hyatt share about his “Best Year Ever” program. Although I chose to enroll in his Platform University community for a few months instead of purchasing that course, I still learned a lot. For me, the most important question that he asked was “How do you want to be remembered?” That question was especially poignant in my planning for 2016 since we buried my husband Reggie’s mom in November. The truth is that if I died tomorrow, I would be happy with the legacy of love that I would leave for my family and friends. They are the ones who actually show up for your funeral anyway! That question also helped me to come up with the four principles that would guide my goals for 2016:
1. Fear God and keep His commands.
2. Eat and drink (primarily) for strength.
3. Enjoy my life with my loved ones (husband, kids, extended family and friends).
4. Work skillfully with all of my might doing work that is a.) satisfying b.) enjoyable and/or c.) builds wealth and possessions. [Ideally, most of my work will be a, b and c!]
Can you tell that I was in an Ecclesiastics book of the Bible mood? 🙂
Principles aren’t goals though so I needed to dig deeper. For much of 2015, many of my favorite podcasters spoke about the importance of 90 to 100 days goals. Since I am also a fan of Greg McKeown’s quarterly offsite suggestion, this idea resonated with me. Pre-mom life, I worked in investment banking and everything was planned on an annual and then quarterly basis anyway, so this rhythm feels very natural to me. That is why this year I am breaking down my annual goals into quarterly ones. I truly believe that is how to set the best goals for 2016.
Todd Herman coaches some of my favorite women entrepreneurs and is the founder of The 90 Day Year. His tips have been the most helpful in helping me to set my quarterly goals for 2016. Basically, he breaks things down like this:
1. The outcome/objective: What are you ultimately trying to achieve in 90 days?
2. Strategic Performance Indicators (SPI): What are approximately 3 strategies that will help you to hit mini-targets (that will ultimately help you to achieve your overall objective) in a 2-week time frame?
3. Process: That is the who, what, when and where details regarding the strategies (that you decided on in #2).
Todd Herman is much more detailed in his training but that is the general gist. The thing that I like the most about his viewpoint is that he says to be flexible and adaptable on SPIs and Process (#2 and #3) yet firm and fixed on your desired outcome (#1). I also appreciate the mini-target aspect. I’m a sprinter not a marathoner (both when I ran track and field and in life). I get easily bored and distracted, so I really think that having those mini goals along the way will help me to achieve all ten of my goals this year. In sum, I broke down my goals for the year into 90 day goals. Then, I broke my 90 day goals down even more using Todd’s guidance. We’ll see how it goes.
I shared about my 2015 goals and I’ll share more about my 2016 goals as the year progresses because it seems as if telling (many) people your goals tricks your mind into thinking that you have already accomplished them.
–The Freedom Journal: Accomplish Your #1 Goal in 100 Days: John Lee Dumas is one of my favorite podcasters. (He interviewed me last year about being a work-at-home mom.) If you have one main goal that you would like to achieve in the next 100 days, be sure to check out the beautiful journal that he created. In addition to being a helpful resource, John is donating $25,000 to Pencils of Promise every time that he hits various funding goals. It’s a charity that builds schools, trains teachers and funds scholarships so that is awesome!
I can’t do a goals post without sharing at least a couple of my goals, so I’ll risk my mind thinking that I have already accomplished this one that I’m sharing. (I usually sprinkle in a couple of easy ones so that I can focus more on the big ones anyway.) One that falls in the “little” category is “To Read 12 Books”. To my shame, the only book that I read from cover to cover in 2015 was the Bible. (I know! I’m the one who has sons who love to read. My husband Reggie even started to love books again in 2015 once he realized that autobiographies of men whom he admires is his favorite type of book to read. Everybody was reading but me!) I listened to podcasts and audiobooks, but that is not the same. I’m going back to one of my first loves (physical books) and reading at least one book a month. I even started a book club to help hold me accountable. The first book that we are reading is Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes and it is great. Sorry audiobooks, but we need to break up for a while…
What about you? How do you create the best goals for yourself?