Almost everyone who can read or have access to a computer has heard of creating S.M.A.R.T. goals. These goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable or Attainable, Realistic or Relevant and Timely. This is a great method to determine your goals, but to really achieve your goals, or at least head in the right direction; you have to plan for them.
If your goal is to write a book, get healthy or earn more money, the first step is to figure out what exactly this means to you. Do you want to write an e-book or a bestselling piece of fiction? Do you want to lose 50 pounds or be able to walk up stairs without feeling winded? Do you want to be a millionaire or have some extra spending cash? All of these goals can be achieved in many, many ways, depending on your time frame, your need and your specific requirements.
Since I’m an organizer, let’s talk about getting organized. I ask my clients how they see their life when it is organized, and I receive as many different answers as the number of clients I ask. Some people want to get organized so they have harmony with their family, while others see being organized as the key to making more money. There is no wrong answer; there is only the one that works for you. The first step is to…
Define your End
Now, don’t let this scare you, because the only real end is death. (Unless you believe in the afterlife, reincarnation or zombies, but that is a whole different story). Your goals will probably continue to change, You may find in the course of accomplishing your goal, that the original goal is no longer important, or is not specific or challenging enough, but you have to start somewhere. So where is your end? Here are some examples I am going to work with,
…traveling to Australia
…having a million dollars
…running a marathon
…having an organized house
Here is where you are going to work backwards. When you have your end in mind, you have to figure out where to start, what steps you need to take and how long you will need to reach that goal. What is the first thing you have to accomplish to make any progress? List everything that you must do to accomplish your goal; from the most broad to the smallest detail.
… traveling to Australia, the first step would be to find out how much this is going to cost? Can you leave next week, or are you going to have to save? If money isn’t an issue, you might want to research the best time to travel there. You’ll need to make an itinerary, create a budget, schedule time off from work, pack, and make any needed arrangements for your home or office in your absence. Do you have a passport, need any shots or have any restrictions to traveling that far?
…having a million dollars, the first step is deciding what that means to you. Having a million dollars in investments, cash on hand, or just making a million dollars in your lifetime, three totally different goals. You will have to determine if you want to accomplish this in a few years, or by the time you retire, which could mean completely different things depending on your age. Do you need to change your spending habits, get a new job, or a better job, start investing or marry someone rich?
…running a marathon, the first step, if you don’t exercise might be to visit a doctor. If you do already run, your first step might be just to pick a marathon you want to compete in. You might also consider running shoes, joining a running club, checking out running Apps for your phone or joining a gym or getting a trainer. Don’t forget to sign up for the marathon!
…having an organized home, the first step is to decide why. Do you have to sell your house and want to be able to show it, or have you experienced a life changing event that has left your home a disaster? Then you will have to determine what areas of your home to include. Does it include your yard, garage, basement and attic? Or are you thinking of just your kitchen, bedroom and office? Then you need to decide what to get rid of, and where is it going to go; garbage, donate or sell. What is your time frame? Will it take one month, 6-months or a year?
Now that you have your end goal and all the steps you need to take to achieve it, you have to schedule it. That means exactly what it sounds like…put it in your calendar. Put your end date in, and figure out when each step needs to be complete to be able to move on to the next one. You may have one step each week, and each of those weekly steps has their own little steps that need to be done. Every step should be on your calendar or on your to-do list.
If your plan is for 6-months or 5 years, you should be able to see where you need to be daily. This lets you know if you need to adjust anything; adding new tasks, or extending your end date. Don’t be afraid to move things around, to add tasks or remove items that are no longer relevant.
Post your goals everywhere! Seeing them every day will help you stay on track. As I said earlier, your goals might change in the course of achieving them. You may decide that your goal is no longer as important, or that as you progressed, you found that there were even more things that needed to be done. That’s what we call LIFE! It happens. Don’t be discouraged, because every step toward your goal has made a difference in your life.
Don’t forget to tell everyone about your goals! This helps to keep you on track, by keeping you accountable, and also gives you a cheering section when you achieve it.
Wishing you an Uncluttered Life!
Rhonda Burger is a Professional Organizer, and owner of Help Me Rhonda Unlimited. She is a Member of Preferred Organizers.
Rhonda can be reached at 414-483-6385 or at www.HelpMeRhondaOrganize.com
©Rhonda Burger 2016