It’s time to get smartest!

The new year is well and truly over, it’s almost Christmas all over again! But what about all those plans you made back in January? Maybe right now you’re more focussed on your taxes than getting stuff done, but what if I told you the new year is just a number? What if you could decide, right now today, that you’re ready to get to work on your own happy ending?

(I’ve told you already how much I love happy endings, right? Both writing them and helping you create yours.)

Think “planning” and it doesn’t take much to land on “goal setting”. (Did you just roll your eyes? I know, I know. Stick with me. This is going to be different, I promise!)

I love planning. I’ve taken great delight in losing weeks and weeks at the end of a year plotting and scheming for the year to come. But then what? All too easily everything would fall apart. Even the very best laid plans can get derailed when life happens.

That’s when I decided to try something different. I still map the whole year out, very (very!) loosely, but my main focus these days is on goals that fit within a three month long block.

And instead of getting SMART (the usual goal setting advice) I prefer to get SMARTEST. (Same as SMART but with a little something extra at the end, to really make things go with a bang!) Here’s what that looks like:

We start out with a variation on the 1981 invention SMART:

  • Specific: What exactly do you want to do, have, achieve or experience?
  • Measurable: How will you know you’ve done it?
  • Actionable: Start with a verb. What will you actually do?
  • Ridiculous: Traditional goal-setting calls on us to be realistic, to set goals within our reach, but God is master of the impossible so I’m here to advocate for goals that can only be achieved, God helping us.
  • Time bound: When will you do it by?

And then we add in the little bit of extra magic, to really spice things up a bit! (Including three real life examples, to help the power of these additions sink in.)

  • Exciting: For the love of sanity, please make sure it’s something that’ll get you out of bed in the morning!

Real-life example: I hate cycling. It makes my bottom hurt and I’m rubbish at it! As much as I love France, how much mileage do you think I’d get from setting a goal focussed on cycling the Tour de France?

  • Seasonable: Does this goal fit with your current season of life?

Real-life example: I have three children, two dogs, two guinea pigs, a hamster, a rabbit and five fish (not to mention a long-suffering husband!) Would setting a goal to travel round the world for six months fit with my current season?

  • Targeted: Does this goal serve your happy ending? Will achieve this goal move you closer to realising some bigger ambitions?

Real life example: Remember earlier I mentioned painting broad strokes for the year? And yes, I prefer to plan in three month blocks of time, but doing so with an eye to the big picture is important.

Make sense? Great! So now what?

Next, it’s over to you. Using the outline above, it’s time to craft 3 – 5 goals for the next 3 months.

Reminder: Don’t get hung up on what date it is. If the very best time to get to work on your goals was two weeks ago, the second best time is right now!

And if you’d like some help as you play, click here to head over to my freebies page to grab a copy of my little goal-setting book, Youier Goal Setting, plus all the lovely extras to make your journey a little easier – and more fun too!