Monday Motivation: Set Attainable Goals

BougainvilleaI’ve spent a lot of time thinking about goals recently.  The tried and true method for achieving goals is SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely.  Fail to follow this method and you run the risk of setting a goal much too lofty to attain to.

This last Saturday marked the time where I needed to trim our bougainvillea.  If you aren’t familiar with the plant, the flowers are beautiful and the thorns are fierce.  It is one of those plants one should only plant if they have the means of paying a gardener to maintain them.  We happen to have bougainvillea lining a fence on our side yard and I typically wait until I have to army crawl under it before trimming it back.

In my early days of trimming the bougainvillea, I would hack it way back, leaving long branches to stuff in the trashcans.  This method results in many scratches.  No wonder I avoid that chore for as long as I can.  More recently, I have discovered a better method.  Now I trim the bougainvillea into small pieces that can easily be raked into trash cans– minimizing my contact with the plant.

Setting goals is a lot like this isn’t it?  Setting goals that are unattainable is a lot like cutting your bougainvillea too aggressively.  You are left with huge pieces that will scratch up your arms and legs and leave you wanting to quit.  As you are working on goals for improvement, break them up into small, achievable chunks and you increase your chances of success!


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One comment

  • So true Jeremy. Goals get easier if broken into smaller “goalettes”. I try to make lists of daily goals then prioritize those as well. I try not to look up to the mountain of work but rather the small steps ahead that give me the ability to eventually summit.

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