Thursday, February 6, 2014

My Reading Project and S.M.A.R.T.Heart Goals

Last month, I have made a decision to start again with my reading project. I began this actually during the last quarter of last year. Sad to say, I was not able to get it going, for some reason. So when the New Year rolled in, I resolved to do it all over again, thus my Reading Project 2014.

My 3 books for January 2014
 I was so excited that I hurriedly took a picture of the 3 books (Be the Miracle by Regina Brett, Not Even a Hint by Joshua Harris and Long Walk to FreedomThe Autobiography of Nelson Mandela) that were in my hand and posted it in my Instagram pinionsandplumageoflove and Facebook accounts, without even considering if I would really be able to accomplish this “small” feat. I thought, “Well, I’m off to a good start. I’m following S.M.A.R.T. guideline for goal setting. These 3 books are doable in one month (I’ve started reading on the 2nd week of January).” Then, February approached and I’m not finished with the 2 books (Not Even a Hint and Long Walk to Freedom).

The book I got to finish before January ended: Be the Miracle
The book 2 I'm trying to finish before February 9th. Yikes! :)

What happened? Didn’t I just follow the SMART thing? Isn’t it the smartest thing to do? My thoughts at that time:

Wasn’t my goal Specific? – My big goal is to read most if not all of the books I have accumulated throughout the years. Because of my busyness before (I was working fulltime in a non-government organization), I seldom had the time to read, although it’s one of my hobbies and stress relievers. So when finally I gave birth and opted to stay at home and “work fulltime” mom, I came to a decision to read all my books. Now, isn’t that specific?

Was it Measurable? – After putting down the first book (Be the Miracle) and ticking off the small dot in my planner signifying that I was done, imagine my bliss. I was ecstatic! I remember, my husband would always laugh at me (in a loving way, of course) whenever I begged for some time off to be alone and for him to take care of the baby just so I could finish my book one. One book in 3 days? Yes, I believe my goal was measurable.

Wasn't it Attainable or Achievable? – Devouring all the books in one month is of course neither realistic nor possible. Unless of course I burn them, then the fire would eat them up in just hours. How do I make it achievable? It’s like ordering a 2-pound juicy steak in a restaurant. Instead of chewing the whole thing, what do you do? You cut it into bite-size pieces and savour the flavour as you chew it, right? Thus I think, reading 2-3 books per month is workable.

Was it Realistic? – I can say that what I set for my reading project goal last month is realistic or sensible, in a way. Why? Honestly, I was already finished with three or four chapters in my two books (Be the Miracle and Not Even a Hint). They were actually unfinished goals in December (yeah, I know, it had broken my heart already). I was thinking that I would be able to finish these two in no time, then start off with the 3rd book and by the end of January, I would just say, “Done!” So, is it realistic? For others maybe. For a mom with a 2-year old super active and precocious daughter and a household to run, it could have been, with a little squeezing in of time.

Was it Time bound? – Definitely! Hahaha! I wanted those 3 books read by the end of January. Isn’t that what time bound means? The beauty of this time thingy is that after you accomplished your goal no matter how small it is, you feel good inside, right? I read somewhere that one of the differences of the happy people from the unhappy ones is that the happy individuals set goals with time consideration while the unhappy folks don’t. Yes, they do set goals but without thinking when to bring them about. I mentioned above (#2 Measurable) the joy I felt when I finished my first book in my list on the date that I set it to be done. Yes, it’s a small thing but really, no, it mattered much.
After my evaluation, I asked myself, “So, where did I go wrong?” At that moment I realized something – my heart was not into it when I set my goal. Yes, my mind was working but my heart was not moving along. It was simply “just to have a goal” and “for the sake of goal setting”.  At that point I understand, it’s not enough just to have my brain working on my goals, I have to involve my heart too.  The brain gives the reason and the logic while the heart provides the passion and the excitement. The brain is the engine while the heart is the fuel. My brain could give me a lot of things I should accomplish for this year but it is my heart that would energize me to get them done.

How about you? How are you doing with accomplishing your goals so far? Do you think my S.M.A.R.T. Heart would help? I would love to hear from you.

No comments:

Post a Comment