As a university business school professor for fifteen years I always enjoyed teaching "goal setting" as a management theory and practice because I found it worked nearly every time, if you followed the correct procedures. Since my retirement nearly four years ago, I recently realized I hadn't written about it, although I continue to practice goal setting in many of the things I do, personally.
Jennifer Alford, my writing colleague at The In-Depth Genealogist, recently wrote a 2013 Planning Ahead blog post at her Jenealogy family history blog regarding her use of SMART goals for her family history research and writing.
SMART goals are a bit of an 'upgrade' from the original goal setting I taught a few years ago but make the process even more specific and useful. The key elements use the five letters of SMART to remind us of the steps, detailed here:
Specific - This the Who, What, Why, Where and How of your goal.
Measurable - How will you know when the goal has been reached?
Attainable - How can this goal be achieved?
Relevant - Does the goal seem worthwhile? Is it the right time to reach the goal?
Timely - What is a reasonable timeline to attain your goal?
Jennifer also suggested adding two further processes that I encourage as well:
Evaluate - As you are working towards your goal it is important to check your progress.
Revise - After you evaluate it is a great time to make adjustments to your goals and plan.
A current application of this process for me, and perhaps you'd like to join me, is The Family History Writing Challenge for February 2013. Do you have a specific example, that has worked for you, that you can share, in the comments, below? Thanks, and best wishes to you!
I hope you will also subscribe to my series, above or below, as well, if you have not done so already, leave a comment, and share this article with others. You might also enjoy my blogs: Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories, Dr. Bills Book Bazaar and The Homeplace Series. Visit my lenses at: Dr. Bill Tells Exciting Stories. Also see The Heritage Tourist at The In-Depth Genealogist.