SMART Goals in your life is a very good topic to talk about because you can learn from others point of view and gather that information and use it to improve yourself. That’s what happened after my previous post because I received a lot of interesting feedback and that’s why I’ve found important to write a another article.
I’m not an expert in this topic but I can share what I’m learning and what I’m doing to achieve my personal goals using SMART Goals. One of the best ways to learn something is using an example so let’s try doing that!
The study case
Imagine this case, you have been interested in photography since you were a child and from time to time you dream (awake or not) about taking pictures like a professional. Right now, you enjoy your work but it doesn’t have anything related with photography so for sure you’ll be happy with photography just as a hobby.
Defining the life SMART Goal
The first thing you have to do is brainstorming over an entire week! How to do that? Well, you’re going to need a little notebook like a Pocket Moleskine or a software in your cellphone like Evernote, anyway, it’s important to have something to take notes all over that week.
Think about photography, what would you like to do? what are you dreaming to do? what will you like to achieve before you’re gone? Take notes of everything, everything!
At the end of the week review all your notes and select one or more things that highly motivate you. Don’t think about how hard it will be and specially don’t think that you won’t have time. Just take that ideas and write one line about them.
In the study case, after your brainstorming the most motivating idea for you could be:
“Get my photos published in a professional photography magazine or book”
It would be better to know which photography magazine or book are you thinking about but that’s no matter right now because you can update this goal when you know that.
Defining long and medium term SMART Goals
Use your brainstorming notes and try to figure out what should happen before you achieve your life SMART Goal. What should happen in the next 1 – 2 years (medium-term)? What should happen in the next 3- 5 years (long-term)?
In the study case, you could get this results:
Long-Term SMART Goals
- Publish photos in on-line stock photos.
- Participate at least in one photography exposition in my city.
Medium-Term SMART Goals
- Join photography communities in my city and internet.
- Take photography courses (3 x year).
It’s simple and it could be pretty obvious but you’re going to find that writing them and later reading them is better than just having all the stuff in your head.
Defining next actions
Now, the next steps could be easily to see so review again your brainstorming notes:
- Buy a DSRL Camera
- Read Manual and practice!
- Look up courses about photography
- Open an account in Flickr
Now you can prioritize your next actions based on you time, money and start moving forward your goal in parallel to with your work. If something unexpected happen and your priorities change you can update the goals o just be aware why you move slowly, in our study case you will be aware why your photography goal didn’t move because of that unexpected event.
Interesting, isn’t it? Try it with something you really like and you didn’t do because you think there’s no time.