Written by SJPL Librarian Ifeanyi Ogamba
Well, here we are. As the clocks move forward, the days get longer, flowers start to bloom, and the weather starts to heat up, we know with these changes that spring is upon us. Spring is a time to look back and to also look ahead. Think about it for a second. With spring comes graduations, wonderful outdoor activities, birthdays, and so much more. This is the time for us to take a look at how the year has gone so far and what the year could look like in the upcoming months. With that being said, spring is the perfect time for reassessment, reevaluation, and realization, especially when regarding goals.
Now that we’re a quarter (1/4) of the way through the new year one can look back at resolutions, aspirations, and goals. That can be a traumatic review especially if you fell off and haven’t been as goal-oriented as you would like, but fear not, you’re not alone. Spring with all its greatness can be a traumatic time for a ton of people. Self-doubt may rear its ugly head and infiltrate the mind. “My new year’s resolution has been put to dust! I failed miserably.” “I’m nowhere near where I should be at this time of year. I can’t do anything right.” “I blew it. There’s no way I’ll meet my targets. Why did I even try?” It’s okay to have self-doubts here and there but please, try to be optimistic. The glass is half full not half empty. It’s easy to be miserable about “failing” or “coming up short” and misery loves company. That mindset can spread and fester, creating a stench, not even the mightiest can thwart. So, how does one prevent this from happening? By being S.M.A.R.T. See that’s the beauty of spring. It’s the time of rebirth. After a dormant winter, the world is revived and so can your aspirations. So can your goals. Reassess, reevaluate, and realize those goals once again. Push through and be optimistic.
Types of Goals
Goals can come in all shapes, forms, and sizes. Here’s how I break down goals.
- Time-Based Goals - consist of short-term, long-term, and lifetime goals. All goals have a timeline so where do your goals fall in relation to time? Is it a short-term goal? Today, tomorrow, or next week? Is it a long-term goal? Next year, three years, five years? Is it a lifetime goal? Twenty-five, Fifty years, a lifetime?
- Life-Based Goals - consist of life-based matters such as health and fitness, academics, career, financial, personal, family, social, and other life-based matters of the sort.
Now that I’ve gone over the time-based and life-based aspects of goals, I’ll now share some S.M.A.R.T. goals of mine.
S.M.A.R.T: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic/Relevant and Time-based
Spring is upon us so you know what that means... Spring cleaning! Yay! A goal I had this spring was to clean up my garage to add space. Check! I’ve done that already. Not to mention, that was a S.M.A.R.T. goal. I didn’t even have to shoot for the moon on that one. It was Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic/Relevant, and Time-based. Now my wife’s car fits in the garage with room to spare and I don’t have to feel the wrath of my beloved! As Jolly Rancher sweet as she is, she can be very scary when she’s upset. So, I do what I can to keep her happy. Happy wife, happy life as they say. All in all, it was a win-win type of accomplishment. Okay, okay, maybe cleaning isn’t your thing. Another S.M.A.R.T. goal of mine was the fact that I didn’t hit the snooze button this morning and I got to work on time! Through traffic and all! Whoo! I’m on a roll and I feel great already. I don’t know about y’all but I celebrate victories, big and small. These are my goals and I’m proud to have accomplished them. That’s the point. They’re YOUR goals. You set the parameters. Just try and make sure they’re S.M.A.R.T. goals.
Okay, one last example. This one won’t be as attainable as the aforementioned goals. This next one is a goal that requires diligence over a lifetime. Cancer has impacted my family directly these past few years. Whether cancer has affected your family directly or indirectly it is a traumatic circumstance to hear about, let alone witness. Seeing a loved one wither away day after day due to this dismal disease can bring the devil himself to tears. My lifetime goal is to get a physical every single year of my life. I do this every year near my birthday. An annual physical, urine, blood, and whatever test I can convince my doctor to conduct which includes cancer pre-screenings. I’ve even convinced my wife and other family members to do the same. This is a S.M.A.R.T. goal that I plan on accomplishing every single year of my life for as long as I live. Who knows, I might save my life or the life of others, and that’s worth it to me.
Goals: You Got This
All in all, ask yourself. How do you want to grow over the next year? What S.M.A.R.T. goals do you want to accomplish? In the end, it’s entirely up to you. I’ll go a step further. Sometimes not having goals is healthy, especially during times of relaxation. You want a clear mind and to just go with the wind during downtime or a vacation you do that, but then again, relaxation can be a goal in and of itself, but I digress. One thing’s for certain if you take anything with you after reading this blog take this… Be S.M.A.R.T. when creating goals and let the chips fall where they may. And if you happen to fall off seven times, make sure you get back up eight and keep pushing through. You got this!
TIROC Blog Series
This blog is part of a series that will focus on being trauma-informed and resilience-oriented as part of the Library's efforts to embrace the TIROC principles in our interactions with you and with ourselves.