It’s Never Too Late: Setting Goals for Life, for Career, for Business, Ep3

Written by Pam Lefkowitz on October 14, 2021

Share This Article

Ep3 – The Hit List

Finally! It is time to set up your goals!

Let’s use your Big Dreams list and, from that, we’ll create a Hit List. Pull out last week’s work and copy over your top 10 dreams to a new page in your Bullet Journal (or whatever notebook you’re using for these exercises). I want you to answer one more question for each of these 10 dreams if you can: Why? Why is this dream important to you? Sometimes the answer is “I don’t know” – that’s ok too. Don’t force an answer, let it come.

You’re probably thinking “Yikes! Ten goals feels overwhelming!” That’s because it is. 

I am such a nice person that I’m going to let you off the hook. You don’t have to work on all 10. Just circle 3 of them. These are the ones that you will start working on this week/next week. Why so soon? Because we can “think” or “consider” ourselves into stagnation.

In order for a goal to be the real deal, it has to have some way to measure progress. Without metrics, the goal setting process creates a goal that is nothing more than an item taunting you on your to-do list. So we’ll make our goals into S.M.A.R.T. goals.

What are S.M.A.R.T. Goals?

S – Specific: “Start a charity” is vague, while “spend 1 hour of time/week at the local food pantry in order to learn how to start one in my neighborhood” is specific. 

M – Measurable: goals should be quantifiable. Let’s say your goal is to read more. If you read about 30 pages per day, then to read a 300 page book would take 10 days. You can measure the goal by number of pages/books or by time spent reading. No rules except what will help you achieve your goal.

A – Achievable: To use an obvious and ridiculous example – donning wings and flapping them till you fly is not achievable. Learning to pilot an airplane is. 

R – Relevant: The “why” part of your goal should answer this question. Especially at work, doing busy work isn’t moving the needle. Be purposeful.

T – Time-Bound: To use an overused metaphor, a boat without an anchor will float aimlessly. Have an anchor. Give yourself a time limit to achieve the goal. It might be days or weeks. Or it could be a yearly goal. But define a time to achieve the goal.

So once you have your Chosen 3, you can get to work on how to achieve them. Each goal will probably have multiple steps to achieve completion. We don’t just get up off the couch and decide to run a 5k…we have to build up to it. In fact, there’s a whole program devoted to going from Couch to 5k. What steps will you need to take to accomplish the goal? Who will you need to enlist help from? What tools will you need? Will there be a budget involved? What will the time commitment be for each stage? We’ll talk about these tools and review your goals again in the next article. You’ll have plenty to keep you busy till then, however.

Your Vision, Your Goals

For some people, the next step is to create physical, IRL versions of their Dream Big list. Dream boards, or vision boards, are an alternative way for you to envision all possibilities. For those who are unaware of this technique, you basically use a large corkboard or posterboard or some other board (18×24 or 24×36) that you fill with images, pictures, notes, memorabilia, quotes, art. Some people use pages in their bullet journal or planner for this. It doesn’t matter so long as you can see it easily in the place you spend most of your time. Whatever you put on your board should inspire you to continue to dream, to continue to grow creatively, to move forward with the next steps of setting specific goals for your next {week, month, year}. 

Start now. I know I’m being pushy…that’s just who I am. But you know how you look back on your stock portfolio and think, “if only I would have bought Apple stock when it was $14 I’d be financially set now?” Yeah, same thing with goals. Start them now, because a year from now you may wish you had started today. To quote my wise and prescient friend, fell MacAdmin Rich Trouton (@rtrouton), “Your future self will thank you.”

As with last week, work in 20-30 minute sessions over the coming days. And join the discussion in the JumpCloud Lounge #AdminLife channel!

Pam Lefkowitz

Continue Learning with our Newsletter