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M.a.i. Focus for 2020 & the next decade is S.m.a.r.t...goodbye 2019!

Greetings and Good Morning M.A.I. Good People!

Happy #MotivationMonday #EveofNewYearsEve We’re literally a week into the holiday vacation week, and so, far I’ve had a very relaxing and beautiful Christmas vacation with my husband and son! I will say, with limited usage of social media (and not just during the holidays), I am eliminating “social noise” and creating moments with my family where I’m fully present, and time is well spent and more memorable. I honestly cannot complain! Now that we‘ve gracefully made it through the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, it’s time to focus my attention on the new year, but it’s not just a new year. It’s a new decade starting as well. So, there’s a few major goals and milestones that will happen for me during this next decade, and I have to be intentional about how strategize my movements short and long-term, now and in the future. In this post, as I plan my year, I want to revisit the importance of creating S.M.A.R.T. Goals. In my professional and personal life, I set yearly performance goals for my professional and artistic career that are focused and attainable because of the S.M.A.R.T. Goals concept. If you’re hoping to actually achieve your goals and not set “New Year’s Resolutions“ that fail before the year ends, then setting S.M.A.R.T. Goals may be where you need to start. So with out further delay, let’s dive into this week’s message.

What are S.M.A.R.T. Goals?

S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely. With that said, S.M.A.R.T. goals gives you a framework for focusing your efforts and improves your chances for achieving those goals.

If you’ve never used or heard of the S.M.A.R.T. goals concept, now is the perfect time to begin learning, researching, and using it. As we usher in the new year, each year, I begin thinking of my life’s goals in this way rather than as “New Year’s Resolutions.” Thinking of my goals in terms of the S.M.A.R.T. concept, I have a better way of staying motivated throughout the year to accomplish and attain my goals. I can always evaluate where I stand in terms of making strides to achieving my goals.

How do I use S.M.A.R.T. goals?

Start by asking yourself important questions to flush out any roadblocks in order to map out and design a clear plan of action for your goals.

S - Specific

Be specific when determining your goal, try to answer the five "W" questions:

What do I want to accomplish?

Why is this goal important?

Who is involved?

Where is it located?

Which resources or limits are involved?

Example: one of my book goals for 2020 is to launch my second book and increase the sales of my first book. These goals are important to the future of Creative Calfuray, and it measure my success as an self-published author. Those involved will be my growing reading base, writer's blog sites, and social media. It will be a combination online and building rapport in person. Financial resources and time is re the most important resources for accomplishing this goal.

M - Measurable

The next question to ask, is this goal measurable? Being able to properly measure your goals gives you a tracking mechanism for staying on track to achieving your goal. You will need to think about the following questions:

How much?

How many?

How will I know when it is accomplished?

Example: I will need to think about, how will I need to charge to increase the sales of my first book? How much time will I need to plan my second book launch? How will I know when I've successfully accomplished these goals?

A - Achievable

Now that you know what your goal is, and how to measure it; is it realistic and attainable? In your "heart of hearts" and your gut, do you feel like you can successfully achieve accomplishing your goal? At this point, if the answer is no, then do a little more work with the specifics and measurability of your goal because, your S.M.A.R.T. should stretch you in a way that is a healthy challenge to grow, and still allow a clear pathway for accomplishing your goal. At the end of the experience, you want to feel better for having a defined plan for going after those goals with zeal and fervor.

Think about the following:

How will I accomplish this goal?

How realistic is this goal?

What are the potential deterrents and how to avoid them?

What will I need to be successful?

Example: My plan to accomplish this goal is that I will need a clear marketing plan and promotion strategy. It is a very realistic goal. I need to understand my target audience, their interests and buying preferences. The potential deterrents for increasing book sales is not being a well-known author and continuing to spend time and resources to build a strong following that is slow to show significant ROI. Having the funding to plan for a book launch party, and do it in such a way that garners significant attention for my books.

R - Relevant

In this step, we need to decide if your goal is meaningful to you, and if it makes sense and aligns with your other goals.

Does it fit into your life?

Is the goal worthwhile and will it fit within your immediate needs?

Does your goal meets your short and long term plans?

Example: I will easily be able to incorporate these goals into my life. I think that it is worthwhile because, it is something that I'm interested in accomplishing. I think that it fits within my immediate needs because, if I'm successful I will have short-term gratification.

T - Timely

The final step now is to do is assess whether you can complete these goals in a realistic time frame. Of course, you can set goals but if your time frame is not realistic, you will have a hard time completing your goals. So it's important target date that you can reach. During this phase, it's imperative to figure out how long it will take to complete your goal, and if you can do it by pacing yourself. Think about what you can accomplish within your established timeframe.

Ask yourself the following questions:

How long will it take to complete this goal? What will be the deadline?

If I extend the deadline, what is going to be my hard stop deadline?

Example: When I'm planning how to accomplish the goals of increasing sales for my first book and launching my second book, I now need to decide the deadlines for accomplishing each. Once I set my deadlines, I can begin working towards accomplishing those goals. I will say I will give myself 6 months to increase my book sales by 25%, and at the three month mark I will check to see where I stand. Also, with my book launch I can set my target date for 3 months, and check in with my arrangements at the halfway mark. This is a clear and defined plan for accomplishing my goals, and if I notice that I may run the risk of not meeting my target dates; I can pivot and make an adjustment. However, at least I have a date for completion and I can steadily work toward reaching it.

The important piece to remember with S.M.A.R.T. goals is, you’re holding yourself accountable for achieving those goals through your concerted effort, focus, and actions. So, what do you want to accomplish in 2020? Use S.M.A.R.T. goals to do it! I hope that my example helped to see how to apply each goal. I have 8 different areas where I will be applying the S.M.A.R.T concept, and I'm hoping to report by the end of 2020, if I were able to accomplish my goals. If not, I'll keep going until I do, but at least I have a solid framework to do it. I hope that you do too!

Peace and Happy #MondayMotivation

Thank you for reading my blog this morning. Hey, do me a favor, if you like or love this post, comment on it. I’d love to hear your feedback. Also, please feel free to share it with your family and friends in the social media universe. I greatly appreciate the support.

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