My 2012 goals list has quite a few goals that started out as fuzzy:
- “Read Harry Potter, Madeline L’Engle, and Annie Dillard” began as “read some of those books I’ve been putting off for ages.”
- “Read 3 books about the craft of writing” started as “become a better writer.”
- “8:30 2k row” started as “increase my pathetic aerobic capacity.”
Those original goals–like “be a better writer”– are wonderful ambitions, but they’re terrible goals. If I don’t define what I’m aiming for, I won’t know when I hit it. And I want to hit my goals!
Good goals are specific, realistic, and attainable. To transform my vague ambitions into good goals, I need to decide 3 things:
- What will success look like?
- What work am I going to do to get there?
- Is this a realistic goal?
(I’m saying this all matter-of-fact now, but it’s taken me years to figure out how to make decent goals. And I’m still learning!)
Here’s a low-stakes example from my own list: I want to learn to knit in 2012, but I know so little about knitting that I don’t even know what I don’t know! So I made my goal to knit mittens, baby booties, and a really cute hat in 2012. It’s specific. Concrete. Realistic. And competely attainable.
Don’t stress about creating perfect goals. You can always tweak your goals, change them entirely, or build upon your success by creating new ones. But by choosing what to focus on, and choosing how to approach it, you skyrocket your chance of success.
Next week I’ll tell you about how I’m making my very fuzzy goal of “be more on top of things” concrete.
Do you have any fuzzy goals for 2012? Share in comments! How can you make it attainable?
photo courtesy toolstop