It is cliché, but is good. Starting the New Year with thinking about goals for your life is an excellent way to celebrate the New Year. It is a time of refreshment…a time when we reflect on the past year and consider ways to improve the following year…a time to give our lives long-term vision and short-term motivation….a time to give us focus in our acquisition of knowledge. By setting sharp, clearly defined goals, you can measure your progress and take pride in the accomplishment of your goals and thereby, raise your self-confidence, as your recognize your own strength and ability. If you are in my boat, my 2011 was less than stellar. There were significant moments…moments to celebrate and moments to despise…moments that I wish never to repeat. I met many of my goals, like graduating from my master’s program in May and securing a job in August. I also didn’t meet many of my goals, like losing that pesky 20 pound tire around my waist or securing a job as a regular-ed classroom teacher. Notice the job goals are similar…meeting and not meeting. We meet some, we don’t meet others and sometimes we meet them halfway…our goals change. I started the year with the goal of becoming a teacher in 2011. I met that goal, by becoming a substitute teacher, but did not meet it as I had pictured it. I, like so many, envisioned myself being hired by a district to serve one classroom of students. Instead I was hired by districts to serve hundreds of students in multiple classrooms. And I am happy!!! I have been so blessed to have the opportunity to touch many lives rather than some. Being a substitute has been the best thing that has happened to me. I still hope, however, this year to obtain that classroom that I can call mine. How do I do this? I begin by setting goals.
Type “goal setting” into Bing, my favorite search engine, and you receive an astounding 199,000,000 results…too much for me to peruse…too much for you to take into consideration when trying to learn how to set goals. Lucky for you, I have surfed and am posting for you how I set goals. Goals rest on two main levels: the “big picture” goals or the long-term goals (the goals you want to do with your life over the next 10 years or so) and the “small picture” or the short-term goals (the smaller targets used to reach those lifetime goals).
STEP 1: Set your long-term goals in these areas career, financial, education, family, artistic, attitude, physical, spiritual, pleasure, or public service. You might think about what level you want to reach in your career or what you want to achieve at work over the next 10 years. How much do you want to earn? How is this related to your career goals? Is there any knowledge you want to acquire? Perhaps there is some knowledge you will need to obtain that career goal. What about your mindset? Do you have a foul attitude that is holding you back? Are there any athletic goals you want to achieve? Don’t forget how you want to enjoy yourself? All work and no play make Queen Scarlet a dull queenie!
***Spend some time brainstorming, and then spend some more time selecting one or more goals in each category that best reflects what you want to do. Then consider trimming again so you have 3-4 significant goals to focus on.
STEP 2: Set your short-term goals that will help you achieve those long-term goals. Perhaps after looking at 10 years, then 5-years, one-year, six-month, one-month, and then one-week; perhaps, even one-day. Write your goals, yes write them…something about putting things in writing makes things more official, the SMART way. Create them
- S – Specific (or Significant).
- M – Measurable (or Meaningful).
- A – Attainable (or Action-Oriented).
- R – Relevant (or Rewarding).
- T – Time-bound (or Trackable).
For example instead of saying “To obtain a teaching position” as a goal, it’s more powerful to say “To obtain a regular-education classroom teaching position by September 1, 2012.”
For some, if you are anything like me, it is hard to think 10 years out because often one thing in life dramatically affects another. So think as far as you can and say that’s alright. Long-term in 2012 for me will be 1 year.
Queen Scarlet’s Goals for 2012
- Career: To obtain a regular-education classroom teaching position by September 1, 2012.
1a. Complete electronic teaching portfolio by January 31, 2012.
*****1ab. Write and edit all artifacts needed by January 22, 2012.
**********1ac. Read Understanding by Design by January 15, 2012.
***************1ad. Read 20 pages in Understanding by Design per day.
1b. Check Ohio Department of Education and other career websites daily for job postings.
1c. Continue building network through substitute teaching each day.
- Family & Public Service: Participate in family bonding activity by training Jazzy (our family dog) and using Jazzy in agility and other programs to raise awareness about dog adoption on a weekly basis.
2a. Choose and enroll in obedience class by January 31, 2012.
2b. Enroll in a kennel club that supports our family mission by May 2012.
2c. Begin agility training with a kennel club by June 1, 2012.
- Physical: Lose 20 pounds and/ or have a BMI of no more than 25, a waist-hip ratio of no higher than .8, and an abdominal girth measurement of no more than 35 inches by June 1, 2012.
3a. Lose 1-2 pounds per week until June 1, 2012.
*****3ab. Read the Smarter Science of Slim and create nutritional goals by January 31, 2012.
*****3ac. Walk Jazzy around neighborhood 1 mile twice per day.
*****3ad. Participate in Body Rock TV’s conditioning & Fatloss 30 Day Program
daily till January 31, 2012.
- Spiritual: Read the entire Bible again by December 31, 2015.
4a. Follow the Search the Scriptures plan daily till December 31, 2015.