I'm not that SMART

I was catching up on my blog reading today – I  had a veritable avalanche of unread posts on my Google Reader – and ran across many of my blogging pals, including San Francisco Mom of One, who have been articulating their goals or resolutions. 

If I see last year as wildly successful on the New Year’s resolution front that is perhaps because I have been know to define wildly successful as "continuing to a)remember and b)act on my resolution into the month of December."  Additionally, I think last year was successful because, despite the fact that my resolution was by any measure abstract, I came up with a very specific and concrete way to practice it.  Almost every Tuesday. Right here on TEOM?  Clever, no?

As my brother Bear said when I told him I was going to marry my Mate, "I knew you were smart, but I didn’t think you were that smart."

Speaking of SMART, Peter Drucker, many years ago came up with the acronym to describe objectives with the most likelihood of being achieved.  SMART stands for:


I’m not going to trade in my thematic, overarching goal of taking more risks just because it fails to meet three of the five requirements of SMART (my daily writing and yoga do however and are blushing right this very minute).  Buuuut, I have really enjoyed being a successful fulfiller of a New Year’s Resolution and would like to continue to claim that title as part of my persona.

So, because it is way too risky to do today, I am going to promise to return tomorrow and try to answer the question: what would it mean to make "Take more risks" specific? 

How about you?  Are your goals, intentions and resolutions SMART?


4 thoughts on “I'm not that SMART

  1. I’m also utterly behind on reading blogs and am likely to remain so until I get this damn essay out of the way or dudelette learns to sleep at night. Or both. Either way, Drucker’s about the only business guru worthy of the term for me. I do have an allergy to being measured, though. And how to measure ‘take more risks’?
    Well, which ones work out? And do they outweigh the ones that don’t? Taking a risk still entails doing something. And something has got to be specific at some level.

  2. So right (un)relaxeddad. I loathe being measured also, but figure there is probably an unacknowledged element of fear in my loathing and thus allowing myself to be measured – if even by myself – is probably a risk worth taking.
    PS I am in AWE of your capacity to read even one blog with a brand new dudelette in the house!

  3. SMART is a concept I’m pretty familiar with, as a person who has helped write many an IEP goal (individual ed plan) for my kids.
    And measurable is the one that always trips us up. The first step in measuring is determining where you are now. So if you say you want to lose 5 pounds, the first step is to figure out what you weigh now.
    So, in a general goal like “take more risks” it’s kind of hard to determine where you are now. Maybe you could set up benchmarks along the way. What specific things could you do that would signify risk to you? (for me one example might be “submit 3 essays for publication”). Then set a goal of when you would do that.
    So the measurable parts would not be “take more risks”, but would be the specific things you do, and when you do them, you will have, by default, taken more risks.
    Does that work?

  4. Valle, you are way ahead of me! See today’s post for my effort to make my resolution SMARTer…
    PS Why not have that goal of submitting 3 essays – or even one – for publication?

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