After years of being a master procrastinator, I decided to hop aboard the S.M.A.R.T. train this week and allow it to take me to destinations I’ve longed to know. Of course, I would have hopped aboard much sooner, but as you might guess, that would have meant, well – hopping aboard much sooner. That’s just not how I rolled.
As determination would have it, I no longer roll; now I ride.
Let me tell you a little bit about the S.M.A.R.T. train. You get on this thing and it takes you exactly where you want to go. You want to get things done? You have a goal or two or three (dozen) you want to achieve? They rarely see the light of day when you’re a master procrastinator. And if and when they do, it’s often a sluggish and harrowing journey to get there.
On the S.M.A.R.T. train, you experience a journey of another kind. And, you’re not a mere passenger; you’re the conductor.
So, if you want to achieve what you’re setting out to do, you’ve got to get your ticket, hop on board, and stop at these five stations:
1. Specific – a specific goal has a much greater chance of being accomplished than a general goal. To set a specific goal, it helps to answer these questions:
- What do I want to accomplish?
- Who's involved?
- Where’s the location?
- What’s my timeframe?
- What are the requirements and constraints?
- What's the reason, purpose, or benefit of accomplishing my goal?
2. Measurable – establish concrete criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment of each goal you set. When you measure your progress, you stay on track. (Pun intended.)
3. Achievable – establish goals that are achievable and attainable. When you identify goals and objectives that are most important to you, you begin to figure out ways you can reach them.
4. Realistic – to be realistic, a goal must represent an objective toward which you are both willing and able to work. A goal can be both high and realistic; you are the only one who can decide just how high your goals should be. A high goal is often easier to reach than a low one because it exerts high energy and a high motivational force.
5. Timely – a goal should be grounded within a timeframe. With no timeframe attached to it, there’s no sense of urgency. Set a date and you set your mind in motion to begin working on that goal.
Taking this ride is far more satisfying than procrastinating. When you procrastinate, you run the risk of missing the train altogether. And that’s a risk that I, for one, am no longer willing to take.
How about you -- what do you say? (I say, “All Aboard!”)