SMART GOALS for 2015

SMART GOALSNew Year’s Resolutions are like belly buttons, everyone has one, but we do not know what to do with them. For years I have avoided the pit fall of the December 31st game plan to get my life right. However, now that school is over and I am an “adult”, I feel as if I should establish practical lifestyle changes for this new chapter in my life. Some may call these New Year’s Resolutions; I call them SMART GOALS for 2015. I learned about SMART goals from my boss Rachel and coworker Sarah. They have been helping me write and establish solid building blocks to help me be successful at work and at my home office. Here is what I have learned so far.

SMART Goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely. I like the concepts of SMART goals because they help establish a clear plan of how to achieve your goal within a set timeframe. They can work for any goal you want to achieve, whether it is learning new software or losing 10 pounds. Writing a SMART goal could mean the difference between failure and success.

When writing a SMART goal, begin with the end in mind. Ask yourself “what do I want to achieve once I am done?” Once you know what you want to achieve, think about what steps you plan to take to get there. I call these steps “mini smart goals”, they are the building blocks of bigger SMART goals. Here is how I wrote one of my SMART goals to help make the goal a success! I have also included two other examples to help explain the process.ROCKET-01

NOT a smart goal: I want to start eating healthy.
SMART Goal: I will learn how to eat and cook clean/health meals by March 1st.
Steps to achieve SMART Goal: I will create 3 clean and health meals a week.
I will follow three health food and lifestyle blogs ( Fitmencook.com, Greatist.com, Thughkitchen.com) to help me coordinate and
Each Saturday morning I will pick three meals from either blog.
Create a shopping list based on the meals, and spend three hours on Sunday evening to prep and/or cook the meals.
I will cook 27 new meals by March 1st.

NOT a smart goal: I need to take pictures of my design work for my portfolio.
SMART Goal: I want to have strong photos and examples of my design work for my written and online portfolio in time for the AIGA Portfolio Review in March.
Steps to achieve SMART Goal: In order to learn better photography skills, I will register and take 4 classes on photography on Skillshare.com.
I will find real life examples of design photography, so I will follow one new designer/artist through Instagram ( Alisa Burke, Limkina, Wacamera) a week .
Every Wednesday from 5:30-7:00pm I will go to Carbiou Coffee to take a SkillShare class and/or research how to take better pictures.
I will document my progress by taking 5 new photos a week and publish them in Instagram.
I will have 40 new images by March 1st.

NOT a smart goal: I am going start a blog.
SMART Goal: In order to increase my exposure to new/existing client and to highlight my design life and work, I will create and manager an online blog.
Steps to achieve SMART Goal: I will establish a blog on WordPress.
I will take time every Wednesday and Thursday from 5-8am to research how to write a blog and/or a new topic to write about in the blog.
I will follow three successful blogs (ByRegina.com, Nubby Twiglet, the Fresh Exchange).
I will take up to five Skillshare.com classes, in order to learn how to format and frame my blog.
I will create at least 5 stock photos for each blog post and create an ongoing list of at least 30 blog topics.
I will have Nicole and Dana proof each post the week before they published.
Publish 6 design/lifestyle blog posts by March 1st.

BE Specific (S)

SMART goals answer these 6 simple yet direct questions:
Who is involved? Just you, another student, coworker, partner or spouse
What do I want to accomplish? Once the goal is complete what action do you want to be proud to say you did?
Where will goal take place? Identify a location
When will the goal be achieved? Establish a time frame
Which requirements and restraints will help the process? Identify them
Why is this goal important? What are the benefits of this goal?

keys with key chain-01SMART Goal: I will learn how to eat and cook healthier
Who is involved? Just me
What do I want to accomplish? Learn to eat and cook healthier
Where will goal take place? Home
When will the goal be achieved? By March 1st
Which requirements and restraints will help the process? I will follow three health food and lifestyle blogs; Create 3 meals a week; Each Saturday morning I will pick three meals from either blog; Create a shopping list based on these meals; Spend three hours on Sunday prepping and cooking the three meals. I will cook 27 meals by March 1st
Why is this goal important? What are the benefits of this goal? This goal is important because I want to learn how to live a healthier lifestyle. By learning how to eat better I will feel healthier, and maintain a constant weight.

SMART Goal: I will be more confident and consistent with photographing my design work.
Who is involved? Just me
What do I want to accomplish? Photographing my design work for my portfolio
Where will goal take place? Home and Carbiou Coffee
When will the goal be achieved? By March 1st
Which requirements and restraints will help the process? I will sign-up for and take 4 classes on photography on Skillshare.com; Follow one new designer/artist through Instagram a week; Every Wednesday from 5:30-7:00pm I will go to Carbiou Coffee to take a SkillShare class and/or research how to take better pictures; I will document my progress by taking 5 new photos a week and publishing them in Instagram; have 40 new images published to Instagram by March 1st.
Why is this goal important? What are the benefits of this goal? This goal is important because I am a graduating design student and need to create a print and online portfolio before graduation in May. This will help me learning how to photograph current and future design work.

SMART Goal: I will document my design life and work through a living portfolio.
Who is involved? Just me
What do I want to accomplish? Create a living portfolio of my design life.
Where will goal take place? At my home studio
When will the goal be achieved? By March 1st
Which requirements and restraints will help the process? Dedicating time every Wednesday and Thursday from 5-8am to take a Skillshare class or research how to blog; Follow three successful blogs; Create at least 5 stock photos for each blog post; Create an ongoing list of at least 30 blog topics; I will have Nicole and Dana friends proof each post the week before they publish; Publish 6 design/lifestyle blogs by March 1st.
Why is this goal important? What are the benefits of this goal? This goal is important because I am a part-time creative with a full time non-creative job, it is important for me to keep my design skills and resume current. This will help me document my design work as a freelancer.

Be Measureable (M)
Give your goals structure by giving them a measurement. Quantifying your goals allows you know if you are falling behind or if you are succeeding. Set reminders on your phone, use your planner, even notes your fridge as a tangible way to track your development .
Ask yourself these questions:
How much?
How many?
How will I know when it is accomplished?
What is at the finish line?

SMART Goal: I will learn how to eat and cook healthier.
How much? 3 times a week
How many? 27 meals
How will I know when it is accomplished? I have cooked 27 meals
What is at the finish line? March 1st

SMART Goal: I will be more confident and consistent with photographing my design work. 
How much? 5 photos a week
How many? 40 total images;
How will I know when it is accomplished? I will have taken 40 images
What is at the finish line? March 1st

SMART Goal: I will document my design life and work through a living portfolio.
How much? 2 blog post a month
How many? 6 total
How will I know when it is accomplished? I will have published 6 blog posts.
What is at the finish line? March 1st

Be Attainable (A)
When writing your goals factor in your day to day life restrictions such as your schedule, workload, and knowledge, based on these factors do you believe you can attain the goal? If not, then tweak the goal, so that is attainable for your current situation. Remember this is your goal, the only person you need to please is yourself. In order, for this to work be realistic and honest with yourself.
Ask these questions :
Are you prepared to make the commitment to reach your target?
Are you willing to dramatically alter or at least tweak aspects your life?
Is there a more achievable target you are willing to work for?
The answer to these questions should be yes, if the answers are not, than tweak the ways you plan to achieve your goal.Target 03-02

Be Relevant (R)
Make sure your goal is realistic. If you have not drawn so much as stick figure in 5 years do not enroll in an advance painting class at the local community college. Instead set parameters that fit your lifestyle and schedule.

SMART Goal: I will learn how to eat and cook healthier.
How it is relevant: I know you have to eat better, but you are not sure about this cooking thing. Start with 1 or 2 meals a week, then add more meals as you feel comfortable. Also ask questions, find a friend who likes to cook and ask them for some quick tips and ideas.

SMART Goal: I will be more confident and consistent with photographing my design work.
How to relevant: If going to a coffee shop once a week is not in your budget, try the local library or set aside an area in your home where you can close the door and turn off the outside world.

SMART Goal: I will document my design life and work through a living portfolio.
How to be relevant: If you are not a morning person, do not try to be, set your writing time around you peak performance time of the day.

Be Timely (T)
Set your goal within a certain time frame. Setting a deadline reinforces the seriousness of the goal in your mind. It motivates you to take action. When you don’t set a timeline, there is no internal pressure to accomplish the goal, so it gets put in the back burner.

When creating your goals try to avoid using words such as: try, could, should or maybe, these words can be harmful to your success. Take the time to write your goals on paper and place them where you can read them every day. Here is a questionnaire from the University of Virginia Talk about your goals to people in your life that will help you stay focused. Reward yourself when you hit a milestone and celebrate!

Writing goals in this manner help goals become real, it gives them a sense of structure and identity.watchandhands-02
What are some of your 2015 SMART goals?

 

Mayshanna Pandora BriscoeAuthor of this post: Mayshanna Pandora Briscoe is a Freelance Graphic Designer, Mixed Media Artist and Aspiring Blogger. She has a B.A. in International Business and A.A.S. in Advertising and Graphic Design with a Certificate in Web Technology.  When she is not in her studio she can be found experimenting with a new recipe, posting pictures of her design life or food on Instagram, or making memories with her fan club (aka her friends, family and dogs).
Follow her:
Website: www.mpandoradesigns.com
Facebook: Mayshanna Pandora Art and Design
Instagram: http://instagram.com/mpandoraart/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/mpandoradesigns

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s