Last week, feeling overwhelmingly busy yet underwhelming productive, I tasked myself with taking a step back; reflecting on my priorities; and carving out more time to work on some major goals.
Confirming my goals
As part of this re-prioritization exercise, I wanted to revisit my top goals to confirm these were still the areas I wanted to work on. After all, was there a reason I had not devoted much energy to any of them?
My original goals were:
- Get my home clean and organized
- Lose weight and get in shape
- Generate income from acting
- Generate income from podcasting
I ultimately decided to change that last goal to: Generate income from content creation. I will likely focus on YouTube, blogging and Instagram as my outlets for this new goal rather than podcasting.
As I shift more of my focus to these big goals, I want to put them through the SMART test. According to Wikipedia, SMART is an acronym, “giving criteria to guide in the setting of objectives”. It stands for:
- Specific: goals are well-defined & focused.
- Measurable: you are able to provide evidence of progress.
- Attainable: you can reasonably accomplish the goal.
- Relevant: goals align with your values and long-term objectives.
- Time-bound: goals have a realistic, yet ambitious, deadline.
Specific & Measure
These two criteria often go hand-in-hand. The process of narrowing your goal and outlining the specifics often involves putting numbers around what you want to achieve.
These criteria were easiest to apply to my weight loss goal — I simply identified a target weight I want to achieve.
For my home goal, I specified that I want to be able to walk into every room where all the surfaces are clean (dusted, swept, vacuumed, etc.), every item has its own place, and each object is wanted or needed (though, it doesn’t necessarily need to spark joy!).
Now, my two career-based goals were a little harder to define. What exactly do I mean by “generate income”?
Technically, I already have and regularly do make money from acting … albeit not that much. So what is different and/or new that I want to accomplish in this arena? Well, let’s say I want to make at least minimum wage from the gig (sadly, none of my theater gigs come anywhere close to this). I have gotten gigs here and there that meet that criteria, so I don’t think securing one gig is enough to feel like I’ve accomplished this goal. Instead, I’ve set a goal of doing at least 10 acting gigs where the stipend/rate/pay compared to the hours that go into it equal at least minimum wage. I figure by the time I achieve 10 gigs, I will have a lot of learnings that will allow me to set my next goal in this area.
As for generating income from content creation, I’ve never done that before. So, I feel like my goal can be a little smaller (though no less hard to achieve since I’m just a beginner in this area). I will consider this goal achieved when I have made any ad revenue or secured at least one sponsorship.
My weight loss and home organization goals are definitely attainable … because I’ve achieved them before.
The career-based goals are a little less certain. Both are areas where a lot is out of my control. No matter how well I do at an audition, at the end of the day, I just might not be what the director is looking for. I can launch a YouTube channel/blog/etc but there’s no guarantee that people will watch/read/etc.
I do think the acting and content creation goals are ultimately attainable, but it’s hard to know what time-frame to set.
As these are all personal goals, it’s pretty clear they are relevant. But in general, this is a good criterion to ensure that you are pursuing goals that really matter to you and not because you feel like others expect them of you or because your peers are working toward similar goals.
This is the area I’m still working on for all of my goals. I think before I can set a clear end date for each goal, I need to outline the milestones and tasks that will lead up to my ultimate goals. Once I do that I can more easily put timelines around everything and set target dates. I think my career-based goals will have longer time-frames than my other two goals.