The new year is coming. Looking back over the year, what have you checked off as achievements, both personal and professional?
Looking back over 2012, I can say that I have lived in three different places, settled into what I hope will be my new home for awhile, enjoyed a number of uniquely Baltimorean experiences, and gotten involved in the rich heritage of city. My service with Volunteer Maryland has given me the opportunity to learn and grow with all of our Volunteer Maryland Coordinators.
Recently, I have been revisiting some goals I set for myself as AmeriCorps member with Volunteer Maryland. I wanted to break the goals I had set down into small, achievable actions that I would be able to complete over the coming months. One model that I really found helpful with this was S.M.A.R.T goals. Since I have a lot I want to achieve over the next several months, I found it important to create deadlines and a checklist for each goal. I’m never going to get around to better public speaking without some planning!
With a S.M.A.R.T. goal, I need (1) Specifics, not just a general statement, for example, about better public speaking skills. My goal needs to be (2) Measurable; for example, I know my goal has been achieved when I feel comfortable with public speaking. The goal should also be (3) Achievable; I would not want to set this as my goal if it will demotivate me or defeat me! I know I have the knowledge to achieve better public speaking, and that it will just require me to stretch out of my comfort zone. When I set this goal, I also have to make sure that it’s (4) Result-focused; so that I concentrate on becoming better and more comfortable, and not on how many speeches I may give. It also helps if the goal is (5) Time-bound. Otherwise, like many of my past New Years resolutions, I might keep putting it off until the whole year has passed! Setting check-in dates for myself will create accountability, and help this goal stay on track.
What goals do you or your organization have for this coming year? I hope that 2013 will see me achieving my goals, and you with yours.