I believe that in order to get what you want and need out of life, you have to plan for it. You have to set goals and track your progress. This includes recording your accomplishments and setbacks.
S.M.A.R.T. goals are a great resource to use for setting and tracking your goals. I was introduced to S.M.A.R.T goals years ago when I entered the hospitality industry as a manager. I have been able to apply successfully incorporate this practice into my professional and personal lives.
S.M.A.R.T stands for specific, measurable, action-based, realistic, and time-bound. It’s easy to say you want to be debt-free but without a game plan you won’t know when or where to start.
Shape your goals in a S.M.A.R.T way to hold yourself accountable:
As we come to the close of 2014, this is a great time to pause and reflect on the personal and professional successes you have had this year. Take a moment to celebrate all that you’ve accomplished.
The contributors to #Divas2Divas are sharing their 2014 successes and giving insight on how they held themselves accountable. I asked them the following questions:
What personal and/or professional goals from 2014 did you successfully accomplish?
How did you hold yourself accountable and measure your progress?
Have you begun your 2015 goal planning?
Janeane: During 2014 I was able to accomplish my professional goals. Looking back, I realize that I set the bar too low in both areas. This means that with just a little work, I was able to succeed. In order to hold myself accountable, I shared my goals with friends and colleagues. This made me work to succeed because I did not want to appear unsuccessful or to have to lie about my success. As a result, even though I accomplished my goals for 2014, I am feel I did not accomplish as much as I could have if I had made bigger plans and set the bar higher.
I am finalizing my goals personally and professionally for 2015. I am making big plans in both areas that will cause me to stretch beyond my comfort zone and to have to work hard to achieve things. It is scary, but exciting at the same time. I keep thinking of the saying, “if you want what you never had, you’ve got to do what you’ve never done.” I am trying new things and have started now, rather than waiting for the new year to start. I have created accountability groups I hope will keep me on task.
Shanti: Personally I set out to do something special in memory of my Angel Baby Sarai and created The Sarai Breaun Project. This year marked seven years of her heaven birthday so I took 7 families whom within the last year experienced pregnancy or infant loss and sent them a trinket of love in memory of their Angel Baby. I was able to partner with Etsy Shop Owner Joy of Joy Belle Jewelry for the trinket and Ms. Bear out of California for the bear. I now am dedicating time and research to find vendors and sponsors that I can work with on an annual basis to take this project to the next level and be able to provide more families with trinkets of love.
Professionally, I redesigned & rededicated time to my blog in order to produce useful content to my readers. To hold myself accountable I created an editorial calendar to focus as well as an accountability worksheet to regroup on the things that went wrong and the things that I need to improve on.
Yes, I have started planning for my 2015 goals by creating my 1st quarter focus and goal plan. Each month I will focus on completing major tasks to ensure that I am being realistic and accountable.
Val: Wow! 2014 was amazing. I stepped out and pursued more paid writing opportunities and actually had success. I won’t lie and say that every endeavor was profitable, but I did learn from every experience. In terms of holding myself accountable and measure my progress, I had a group of ladies who kept me accountable and that was invaluable. As for 2015, I need to take time to put my goals on paper. I actually will do that today.
Sherika: In 2014 I accomplished a goal that has lingered in the back of my mind every year for nearly ten years. I believe the difference in 2014 is that while in previous years I hoped it would happen but in 2014 I decided to pursue it and MAKE it happen.
In 2014, I STARTED MY WRITING BUSINESS: Worthy Words Writing Services. It is licensed and complete with paying clients.
I joined The Divatude Challenge which as a group held me accountable throughout the year. I also told my family members every step I was taking so they would ask about my progress. That motivated me to work because I had to have progress to report.
Starting my business overshadowed all other goals I set for 2014. So much so, I don’t recall the others. It also set a precedent – going forward I will focus on one major goal each year. The goal in 2015? PUNCTUALITY in all areas of my life.
I’d love to share in celebrating your 2014 successes! Did you have any ah-ha moments? Were you like Janeane and set the bar too low? Did you find a group like Sherika to help hold you accountable? Are you creating a vision board like Rhachelle? Have you taken the time, like Val, to write your goals down on paper? And, I love Shanti’s plan of focusing on specific tasks each month – have you begun your 2015 action plan yet?