Last week I shared with you all of my lofty goals and plans for the year. In particular, I have a lot of goals related to planning ahead. Writing blog posts and articles ahead of deadlines and developing research plans that I will actually stick to are important to me. My college days were a blur with regards to planning ahead and usually involved putting out the latest fires. However, through my involvement in Alpha Phi Omega I learned about the value of SMART goals and breaking them down into smaller more manageable steps.
What are SMART goals?
Specific– This is the Who, What, Why, and Where of your goal.
Measurable– How will you know when the goal has been reached?
Attainable– How can this goal be achieved?
Relevant– Does the goal seem worthwhile? Is it the right time to reach the goal?
Timely– What is a reasonable timeline to attain your goal?
I was also taught the value of adding an E-R to the end of the acronym.
Evaluate– As you are working toward your goal it is important to check your progress.
Revise– After you evaluate it is a great time to make adjustments to your goal and plan.
A number of my goals are related and culminate in the creation of a Morse family book. How do I plan to accomplish this overall goal? By doing the following:
- Minimize hopping around on my family tree.
- Go back and document earlier research.
- Participate in The Family History Writing Challenge by writing 300 words a day for the month of February. My focus will be the Morse family.
- Develop a research plan and consistently add to it.
After considering the SMART goal guidelines it makes me realize that I probably need to break down these goals into more specific chunks and include intermediate deadlines. Since my overall plan is to create a book I think my first goal is to develop an outline of what I want the book to contain. That way when I start WRITING in February I have an organized plan of attack. After February I will review the progress made and revise my goals so that I will have the book ready for printing by the beginning of November. Keeping up with goals isn’t always easy, but having a set of steps to reach the goal is a great start.