Archive for 'SMART'

Checklist check-up
by Jessa Slade on January 31st, 2011

Currently working on: Butter cookies
Mood: Pressed (because now I have a cookie press to make butter cookies — hey, why didn’t I use the cookie press as my blog post last week on favorite kitchen implements?)

Well, 2011 is 1/12 over. How’re you doing? I haven’t been so good about cleaning my closets — and evil XY actually put some of his stuff in one of my closets, which means I have negative goal success on that front. On the plus side, I’ve been fairly consistent with my workouts, which is why I indulged this weekend with butter cookies. Indulged in moderation (does that even make sense?) of course since butter cookies have a way of going from plus side to plus size.

Checking in on the progress of my projects is something I often forget to do until the next time New Year’s resolutions roll around. I like setting goals and I like reaching goals, but doing the work between… Yeah, that’s the tricky part.


So I want to rant for a moment on goal setting philosophy.

See, self-help gurus tell us we should set SMART goals, where SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. Which is indeed smart, as well as lovely, balanced, popular, and perfect — all the things I DESPISE in a romance heroine. Because it’s completely NOT THE TRUTH. Oh sure, maybe there is some girl/goal out there who meets all those criteria, but more likely she/it is hiding some deep, dark, delusional secret. In the case of the romance heroine, I’ll like her better when I discover she has a secret she never wanted to deal with but is forced to confront during the course of the story. In the case of the goal, the secret is… Often in real life, we don’t get to pick our goals.

Seems to me, many a goal in real life is an I-SMACK goal. As in “I get smacked” by an Imposed, Sudden, Monopolistic, Aggressive, Chaotic, and Killer goal.

I’m being a little unfairly grumbly because the aforementioned self-help gurus do offer some advice that can still be applied to I-SMACK goals.

Break it down: What are the baby steps that compose this overwhelming I-SMACK goal?

Back it out: What’s my drop-deadline and when do those baby steps need to be overcome to get there?

Buckle down: How much caffeine do I require to make this happen? (Well, actually the gurus don’t say quite this, but I think it’s what they meant.)

Worse, my secret — which is not very deep or dark or delusional — is that I don’t care that much about cluttered closets and I’m never going to be able to benchpress my body weight. SMART goals forget to include the element of desire. And as any attentive romance reader knows, without the desire, this story ain’t happening.

I-SMACK goals at least have the element of onrushing doom to stimulate the desire to live. But it IS desire.

In looking at some of my goals again, I’m wondering, Do I really want this? WHY do I really want this? If I can’t answer — or if I answer, I don’t — maybe I need to change my goals.

Because as young Skywalker discovered, if the answer is “Do not,” the universe falls to evil. So… I’ll DO. And reward myself with a butter cookie.

Out of curiosity, how do you reward yourself for a goal met or a job well done?

Be it resolved
by Jessa Slade on December 29th, 2008

Currently working on: Book2 of The Marked Souls
Mood: Avoiding a cold via massive satsuma infusions

I recently heard a report about a Scientific Study on New Year’s resolutions that found 40+% of people who made resolutions were still pursuing their resolution six months later, compared to 4% of people who had stated goals that did not coincide with the annual ritual of resolutions.

There’s just something about the cleansing effects of a new year to get the hopeful juices of ambition flowing.

Whether you call it a resolution, a goal, a blood oath, whatever, the Experts suggest that including certain elements will increase the likelihood of success.  These elements form the clever acronym SMART.  Tragically, the Experts immediately went out and assigned multiple meanings to their clever acronym, which makes it less SMART.  But it’s still usable.

A SMART resolution is:

  • S: specific, significant, stretching
  • M: measurable, meaningful, motivational
  • A: agreed upon, attainable, achievable, acceptable, action-oriented, accountable
  • R: realistic, relevant, reasonable, rewarding, results-oriented
  • T: time-based, timely, tangible, trackable

Those are all great suggestions — along with the ideas that you should write your resolution down and tell a friend who will hold your feet to the flames support your endeavor — but I’d like to add a few more muddying adjectives to your goal-setting.

Because I can’t get enough of adjectives.

S = Spectacular, siren, stellar
The Experts say your resolution should be sensible.  Right.  Because sensible gets you out of bed in the morning. 

M = Machiavellian, metamorphic, menacing
Hate to say it, but you will encounter obstacles in your resolution.  You will need to be clever and maybe cruel to pursue your resolution.

A = Arrogant, argent, awful
By awful, I mean awe-ful.  That grand, shining, full-of-yourself awe-full-ness will light your way.

S = Silent, serpentine, singular
In the end, you make your way on your own.  Friends and family can cheer you on, but you are the one with the resolution.

H = Headlong, hazardous, hellacious
This is your chance, your life.  You’ll make it happen.

So, okay, yeah, I changed the mnemonic device too.  Because it’s probably not SMART to think you can tackle your dreams just because you say so; but maybe you can SMASH your way there.

Where are you going in 2009?  What do you have to SMASH through to get there?