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  • Writer's pictureKieran Bailey

Finish 2020 with a SMART Final Quarter

This year has been unlike any other. In some ways, it feels like it's been 27 lifetimes with all the major events that have happened in the span of 10-ish months. In others, it's hard to believe that we've made it 8 months in quarantine and it's already October.

Yeah, it's OCTOBER. It's the final few pages in our agendas and the planner companies are already trying to entice us with their new lines, promising that next year we'll probably have stuff to put in them. Right?

For many of us, myself included, any sort of yearly goals went out the window in March when everything closed up. Even as things begin to reopen, there's enough uncertainty that makes it difficult to get a good look at what's coming ahead. But now it's October and the only thing you accomplished was making a few loaves of bread from scratch.

It's ok. We can still win one against this year. We can make a plan. We can set some goals.

And you know what that means... it's time to talk about one of my favorite things in the whole wide world...

For those who do not spend hours reading organization books, or skipped that day in Dr. Greenwood's PR Campaigns Class, SMART is a mnemonic acronym to help remember the criteria to set an effective objective marker in a project. It has spilled out project management and into personal development because it's honestly one of the best ways to set a target without moving the goalposts.

In the version I work off of, SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. There are slightly different definitions and additional letters based on if you're looking at it from various POV, but for most applications, the above definition covers all major needs. I really like MindTools for additional insight on how to dig deep into the SMART system.

Since it's the end of the (very weird, scary, unprecedented, and unpredictable) year, and as of the writing of this blog we still have a very important election, a socially distanced holiday season, and a big question mark on next year, I'm setting my focus more inward to (hopefully) give 2021 a better launchpad to lift off from.

Truthfully, I have found that quarterly goal setting is my sweet spot anyway because it comes with a predetermined set amount of time and it forces me to break up my more lofty ambitions into reasonable sized chunks to accomplish.

I'm keeping it simple for the rest of the quarter; just 4 things I'm focusing on to finish this year off with some easy wins.

Go to the gym on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays for at least 30 minutes of exercise.

I hate the gym, and COVID gave a great excuse to not go to one. However, since moving into this new place, we have a really nice complex gym that isn't crowded and safe for this immunosuppressed whiner.

Complete 3 Skillshare Classes before December 31st 2020. Share the projects on social media & blog.

The classes I've earmarked to take are:

I picked these three classes in particular because, not only do they knock off a few creative bucket list items I've been meaning to try, but the skills are transferable to things I want to incorporate into my job offerings. I also included the accountability of sharing publically because accountability is key and content is king.

Finish my Goodreads Goal of reading 50 books in 2020. Post reviews of 3 of those books on social media & blog; one per month.

This is a low hanging fruit; I have 7 books left to hit my goal and easily over that in my "currently reading" pile. Adding in the accountability and content aspect makes it slightly more challenging, but also more useful in the long run.

Spend 20-30 minutes once a week to clean out email and reach Inbox Zero; Work Email on Friday and Personal Email on Sunday.

Inbox Zero is not a myth and it's not impossible to achieve. Prior to the work from home shift, I had a great system for my work emails that made it so I never left for the weekend with ANYTHING in my inbox. It's time to reengage that system.

Being able to end the year with a handful of successes is important, especially when that year has taken so much away from us all. What are some goals you're planning on setting for the rest of the year? Reach out and let me know!

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