Keep goals smart and simple

Sometimes we are discouraged about our abilities because we set ourselves goals that are too difficult to achieve. Big objectives are achieved by attaining small ones… the famous, “how do you eat an elephant?”

Accountability Labs celebrate each small accomplishment, and once you have built a stream of successes, not only will you feel good about yourself, but then you can then move on to the bigger goals.

Research shows that personally meaningful goals are important vehicles for the satisfaction of psychological needs. But how do you best shape your goals?

SMART is an acronym for a… well… clever way of structuring your goals. It works like this:

  • Specific: rather than “get another job”, say “update my CV in line with the current market”
  • Measurable: how can you tell when you have achieved the goal? For example “CV updated, edited and read by my wife / my recruiter / my trusted best buddy.”
  • Attainable: the goal should be challenging but achievable.
  • Relevant: each goal should be a small step on the path to your bigger goal.
  • Time-bound: set a date by when you expect to reach your goal.

Overly complex goals can drain your energy while you work out what it was you were supposed to be doing in the first place. Keep you goal clear and specify different aspects clearly.

“By next week Thursday, update my CV, research recruiters, pick top three and submit CV to them.” This is SMARTer than “update CV, let a couple of close friends read and edit it, get home admin tasks done, do more non-fiction reading and watch less Netflix”.

Accountability Labs not only encourage you to commit to the stuff you need to do, but also get you to spend time reflecting on the steps you've actually taken since the last session. This bolsters your sense of achievements (both big and small), validates you, helps you feel good and reminds you that you’ve done well. Stuff that’s nice to hear from other people.  Reflecting on your major milestones, projects and goals achieved is a great way to reinforce confidence in your skills.