How to Create S.M.A.R.T.E.R. Goals

Goal Setting 101

I have noticed over the years that I have been more productive and more successful throughout the year when I have written down my goals. Writing down my goals gives me a blueprint for where I should be going and where I should be focusing my time for the year. It’s a way to set my priorities.

I hear from too many people that their goals are either too overwhelming or they have goals but they are in their head and not written down. Or goals just don’t work for them.

Setting S.M.A.R.T.E.R. goals can increase the likelihood of completing what you have set out to accomplish. Goals should support growth and achievement and push you outside of your comfort zone.

Here’s how to set S.M.A.R.T.E.R. goals.

How to Reflect on the Year

Step 1 of how to set yourself up for success this year

There are times when I have felt disheveled, out of place. or just unorganized. It could also be described as just feeling off-balance. Whatever it is or whatever you want to call it, spending some time collecting my thoughts usually helps.

Do you ever spend time reflecting on your year? Do you take the time to just sit and listen to yourself? Time to just think?

I try and be intentional at the end of every year and take the time to sit and reflect on the year that just passed.

Reflection can be an important step in the planning process that is often times overlooked. Many people jump right into what’s next without looking back and reflecting on what just happened. Through reflection, important lessons can be learned and what I really appreciate is that I can spend time enjoying the journey.

It’s hard to look forward unless you take some time to look where you’ve come from. So take some time and reflect on the year that is ending. The purpose is to think about what went well, what you want to change, and what you should get rid of.

Here’s how to reflect on last year:

Set Yourself Up For Success This Year

A 6 step process to creating your own plan for success

During the end of a calendar year and at the beginning of a new one, I am frequently asked do I set goals and what does that look like? Well, it is not as simple as JUST setting goals for the year. For me, there is a lot more that goes into ending a year and beginning a new one. I believe it is about intentionality. I like to be deliberate in how I end and start a year. Why? Well, it gives me clarity and a vision forward…a path if you will.

So I thought it would be helpful to share the process I use for myself and my coaching clients. This way others can adopt it or at the very least use it as a guide to start their own practices. It really has worked well for me.  Over the last few years, I have set myself up for success with these steps.  In fact, each of my last 3 years has been better than the last and this has not happened by chance. When I look back I have been blown away by the goals I completed and how my life has changed in so many areas. To be honest, I didn’t complete every goal that I set each of these years (and that is okay).

Over the years I’ve tried different ways and I recognize that each individual is their own person and has their own way of doing things. So you’ll need to tweak this for yourself. Just use the following steps as a guide to help.

Each of the below steps is (or will be) its own blog post. Just click on the hyperlink and a new window will open.

I will be speaking twice at that Careers in Student Affairs Institute for the second year in a row. I am excited to present to Student Affairs professionals again and help them further their career.

My second presentation  is titled Apply for a job much? You need this list of 10 job search strategies.

Description: Whether you are applying for jobs this year or in a couple of years, now is the best time to prepare for the application and interview process.  Come learn from an expert how to write a cover letter, how to develop your resume, and how to lay the groundwork for your interviews. Learn how to stand out from the crowd and increase your odds of getting your next job.

Date: October 22, 2016
Time: 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
Event: Careers in Student Affairs Institute
Topic: Apply for a Job Much? You Need this List of 10 Job Search Strategies
Sponsor: College Personnel Association of Colorado (CPAC)
Venue: University of Denver
Location: Ruffalo Hall; 1999 E Evans Ave, Denver, CO 80210
Denver, CO
Public: Public

3 Powerful Writing Exercises That May Change Your Life

Writing is a powerful practice. It has various effects including discovering ideas, defining goals, and solidifying steps. The act of writing means you have to organize your thoughts and this is the first key step in accomplishing any goal or dream.

A study done at Dominican University illustrated the difference between students who wrote down their goals and those who did not. Guess which group was more likely to reach their goals? You guessed it – the group who wrote them down.

I will be speaking twice at that Careers in Student Affairs Institute for the second year in a row. I am excited to present to Student Affairs professionals again and help them further their career.

My first presentation  is titled Take the Lead: 5 Principles to a Great Job Search

Description: Finding a job can be hard but getting a job can be downright difficult and frustrating. Learn how to be G.I.D.D.Y.  This presentation will provide the 5 principles to a great job search and a timeline overview of the job search process with lots of tips, tricks, and resources. Attending this session will set you up for a successful job search whether you are searching this year or anytime in the future.

Date: October 22, 2016
Time: 10:40-11:25 a.m.
Event: Careers in Student Affairs Institute
Topic: Take the Lead: 5 Principles to a Great Job Search
Sponsor: College Personnel Association of Colorado (CPAC)
Venue: University of Denver
Location: Ruffalo Hall; 1999 E Evans Ave, Denver, CO 80210
Denver, CO
Public: Public

4 Productivity Myths That Are Making You Less Productive

Don't fall for these productivity myths

Since France passed a law in May giving employees the right to ignore work-related phone calls and emails outside of office hours, productivity and work-life balance are the new buzzwords du jour.

The news has sparked debates over whether or not our ability to be productive is too often measured in hours worked instead of the quality and relevance of our work. Smartphones have made it all too easy for us to remain “plugged in” at work even during our off hours. However, it’s been shown time and again that being able to have genuine off time is essential to maintain a healthy approach to both work and life.

In our obsessive quest for productivity, many of us cling to certain concepts that trick us into believing we’re being more productive when, in fact, we’re not.

Check out these common productivity myths and make sure you haven’t fallen prey to one of them:

Multitasking Is Killing Your Productivity

How and why to stop multitasking

Multitasking was once touted as the productivity habit of champions. Answering phone calls while typing memos while scheduling meetings while Tweeting, “Liking” and posting may feel like you’re accomplishing many things all at once. You can do all your busy work along with the important tasks by balancing several devices and platforms at the same time. Multitasking seems like a natural evolution in response to the Information Age. Sure sounds like we’ve adapted to our busy lives.

Except that when you look at the actual results that multi-tasking produces, the picture starts to look pretty different.

In fact, there are studies that not only challenge the idea that multi-tasking is productive but suggest that it can be downright damaging not only to your productivity but to your neurons.

Steal Some Of My Best Productivity Tips

These are 5 of the foundational tips I put into practice everyday

Are you looking for ways to be more productive? You’re not alone. Pretty much anyone who has a goal finds productivity to be a challenge. Finishing a project, starting a business, making more money, writing a novel, getting in shape, having more time for your family all require you to make constructive use of your waking hours.

Even writer Victor Hugo had to trick himself into writing his great novels Les Miserables and The Hunchback of Notre-Dame by asking his butler to hide his clothes so he couldn’t leave the house and was forced to stay home and write.

While this may not be an option for most of us (since we don’t have butlers and all!), there are ways in which we can enhance our productivity without resorting to such extremes.

Here are my top five favorite productivity hacks:

Dramatically Increase Your Focus and Productivity With A Tomato Timer

The Pomodoro Technique

I am constantly asked by friends and those I work with for productivity tips and tricks. The Pomodoro Technique is one of my favorite and most successful tips. Why? Because it is all about FOCUS.

I use the Pomodoro Technique on a daily basis to write blog posts, complete work projects, limit my time on email, and move my PhD work forward.