First, make sure your goals are SMART-E. While having a goal such as having better work-life balance is a lofty ideal, making this SMART-E gets you considering:
S - What specifically does having better work life balance look like? Perhaps it is being more firm on start and end work times. Applying the S in SMART our goal may morph into "Leaving the office daily at 5 pm ET, at least 3 times a week".
This now also is M - Measurable. You know if you've been successful in leaving the office 3 times a week at 5 pm. This helps boost motivation when you can track y our progress
A - Is it achievable? We also want to apply the litmus test of achievability. If goals are not achievable, we're likely to abandon them quickly. AND, we know that it takes at least 3 weeks - 21 days - of new behavior patterns for things to start to develop into more natural habits.
With our current goal, ask yourself, how is this achievable? What else do you need in order to be successful?
R - Is it realistic? If it's really not feasible or realistic to get out of the oiffice 3 times a week at five, you may need to revisit the goal. Perhaps it's getting out of the office twice a week, given that at least 2 days a week you are scheduled for meetings that run until 530, and one day you don't start work until 10 and run to 6. What tweks need to be made to this goal?
T - Timebound- This part of the SMART goal frame gets us thinking about the time constraints. Again, the specificity of five o'clock, three times a week meets this criterion.
and Finally I like to add an E to make SMART goals SMART-E goals. How exciting is this? If something is not exciting or we don't see the benefit we are also likely to abandon it.
Second, make your goals visible. Keeping goals visible helps us to focus, reminding of us of our commitments. What does visibility of your goal mean for you? Is it a notification on your phone? Is it a post it note on your desk as a reminder?
Third, connect your goal to WHY this is important for you. Again, going back to motivation, connecting our goals to the bigger picture of our work and life helps to sustain action when the honeymoon phase of change ends. Connecting the goal of getting out of the office at 5 on a regular basis with the fact that this will allow you to spend time with your family more consistenly. This "bigger picture" connection to the WHY helps with decisions and motivation in the long run.
Finally, consider how you are going to check in and reward yourself along the way. With our goal of getting out of the office at 5 three times a week, we can measure it weekly and make changes along the way. With a goal like this the natural rewards may become apparent in terms of better relationships with your family, and/or more time to do things you hadn't been able to do before, like spending an evening out at the movies, or cooking together, or tackling a family project.
- Dedicate 15 minutes to take a look at your goals for the fall. Write them out.
- Make sure they are SMART-E.
- Consider how you will make them visible?
- Why are these important?
- How will you check in and reward yourself along the way?
- To make it more visible you may want to download our One Page Plan template where you can put all your goals into one page.
Questions? Please email me!
Have a great Wednesday,
Potentials Realized | Coaching Team Leaders
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