As always, you can assess the quality of your stated goal with a series of questions you can ask yourself:
Why do I want to pursue this goal? Is it something I really want to do for myself or am I doing it because others expect it of me? Am I doing it because it will bring me fame and fortune and people will think highly of me?
Am I pursuing this particular goal because I have nothing better to do? Because I don’t know what else to do? Because I really don’t know what I’m interested in?
Does pursuing this goal get me closer to the overall lifestyle I want to have for myself? Does this goal feed into my overall plan? What other things become possible when I reach this goal?
Is this goal a true priority? Does pursuing this goal take away from other more important goals or priorities I have in life?
Does this goal or priority truly reflect the values I proclaim to have?
Does the goal contribute to the overall mission of the organization, agency, or company where I work? Does this goal help me get a raise or promotion? Am I spending too much time on a petty goal and avoiding more difficult goals? Am I using the petty goal to pretend I’m so busy working when, in fact, I shouldn’t be pursuing it at all?
Is my goal Specific? Measurable? Attainable? Results-oriented? Time-bound? (SMART) If not, how can I improve it? Have I built in an Evaluation stage? Am I prepared to Re-do parts of my work if they aren’t up to standard in order to reach the goal? (SMARTER)
Now that it’s a SMARTER goal, what next steps do I need to take to achieve it?
What tools or resources do I need in order to achieve my goal? Does it require money? Equipment? Work space? Assistance from other people? Who has already done what I’m trying to do? Can I get advice, support, or assistance from those people?
What is a realistic deadline for each step in reaching my goal? When is the optimal time to work on these steps?
Do I have a system in place for reaching the goal over the long-term? Do I have a plan for when pursuit of the goal gets thrown off track? Do I know how I will handle or recover from interruptions, setbacks, or mistakes?
What does “done” look like? How will I know when I’ve completed my goal?
I recommend writing the answers to the questions above that apply to your situation. When you’re finished you will have a great blueprint for getting where you want to go.
Get the Nerve!