Do you have a passion you’ve thought about for years – but never had the time to pursue it? Perhaps job obligations eat up much of your time. Add family responsibilities and other commitments and it may seem as if you have no time for yourself at all.
Is it possible to pursue your passion AND manage all of the other duties on your plate? Absolutely! It’s important to dream big, but you must also plan well, work smart, and prioritize.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- What would I like to BE?
- What would I like to DO?
- What would I like to EXPERIENCE?
- Why is what I want to BE, DO, and EXPERIENCE important?
More than 2,000 years ago, Aristotle advised his students, “First, have a definite, clear, practical ideal – a goal, an objective. Second, have the necessary means to achieve your ends – wisdom, money, materials, and methods. Third, adjust all your means to that end.”
To create a plan that reflects what you want to be, do, or experience, you must create a clear goal. Passion without a goal is like an arrow without a target.
Create a SMART Goal
“You were born to win, but to be the winner you were born to be, you have to plan to win and prepare to win,” said Zig Ziglar, author of Born to Win. “Then, and only then, can you legitimately expect to win.”
A SMART goal is specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. The act of writing your goals packs your passion with power and launches a course headed towards success.
Consider the these questions as you create a SMART goal:
- A SMART goal is SPECIFIC. What do I want to accomplish? Why do I want to accomplish it? What are the benefits? Who is involved? Where will it be located?
- A SMART goal is MEASURABLE. How much is needed? What tools do I need to measure progress? What targets will I establish as I progress towards my goal? How will I know when it is accomplished?
- A SMART goal is ACHIEVABLE. How can my goal be accomplished? How is my goal action-oriented? How much will it cost to launch and support my goal? What knowledge and skills have (or need) to reach this goal?
- A SMART goal is REALISTIC. Why is my goal meaningful? Why is there a need for this goal? Why is this the right time to pursue this goal? How can I arrange my schedule to pursue this goal?
- A SMART goal is TIME-BOUND. Is there a time frame for implementation of this goal? When can I begin to take action to pursue my goal? What will I do within the next six months to reach my goal? What will I do within the next six weeks to reach my goal? What will I do this week to reach my goal?
Use the information from your responses to compose a SMART goal that is specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound.
Powerful Tips for Writing SMART Goals
Here are additional tips to consider as you compose your SMART goals:
- State each goal as a positive statement. Express your goals with positive words.
- Be precise. Set specific goals; include dates, times, and measurable amounts so you can track your progress.
- Set objective performance goals. As you write goals, use action verbs that can be observed and measured as opposed to abstract and subjective goals.
- Set priorities. Prioritizing tasks protects you from feeling overwhelmed and anxious by focusing your attention on important choices and activities that are directly connected to your goals.
- Arrange time in your schedule to pursue your passions. Finding creative ways to fit specific tasks aligned with your goals into your schedule takes work and effort. You must consider how much time you have within a twenty-four hour period that can be devoted to tasks that will help you meet your goals.
Align Your Schedule With Your Priorities
There are only 24 hours in a day. As you pursue your passion, consider time you have available and make deliberate choices.
Nonnegotiable Activities at Fixed Times: Important activities and tasks that occur at times determined by someone else (such as your work schedule).
Nonnegotiable Activities at Flex Times: Important activities and tasks that occur at a time set by you (such as an online class).
Negotiable Activities at Fixed Times: Activities and tasks you may want to participate in at times determined by someone else (such as a book club or special event).
Negotiable Activities at Flex Times: Activities you may want to take participate in at a time set by you (such as walking your pet).
More resources to help you transform your passion into action are available in my goal-setting workbook, Dreams to Action Trailblazer’s Guide.
Network with those who support you and your passion. Be open to learning new information. Find resources that will help you refine your skills.
Passion fuels dreams. Commitment fuels action. Get clear about what you want to do. Adjust your schedule to engage in goal-related activities. Most importantly, commit to the work of pursuing your dream. Take action.
Your time is now!
What can you do to transform your passion into a reality?
Get specific and clear about your direction. Write a Personal Purpose Statement.
Is it difficult for you to express your needs to others? Use these tips from How to Say What You Want & Need.