S.M.A.R.T. Today!

January 8, 2009

I’ve decided to start this blog to help me keep track of goals I am setting for myself to accomplish throughout the year. I don’t want to label them as New Year’s Resoltions as they are typically vague goals that people set to feel good about themselves at the beginning of the year and since they often have no measurable objectives they are often ignored and pushed aside. Gathering inspriation from a co-worker’s blog post about his S.M.A.R.T. goals for 2009, I decided to set up this blog to help me track my goals.

S.M.A.R.T. is a concept used in project management when determining if objectives are appropriate for a specific project. It is an acronym for:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

By applying this philosophy to goals I am setting for myself, I hope to be able to continue to better myself mentally, physically and emotionally throughout 2009. I will be using the blog to track my progress on each of these individual objectives for this “project”. By publishing the progress of my “self-improvement project”, I hope to be able to identify areas where I am falling behind in accomplishing my goals as well as see where I am exceeding my expectations and use it as an inspiration to continue progressing. I will be posting graphs and stats to help give myself and you a quick overview of how I am doing.

I know the name is cheesy, but it’s getting to a point where finding a suitable blog name without getting too verbose is next to impossible. I took inspriation for the name from the S.M.A.R.T. acronym and the Gorilla Biscuits song Start Today, which is a song about no longer procrastinating.

I will do my best to set goals for myself that are both realistic, yet challenging. In the interest of seeing how realistic these goals are, I will not modify them going forward to be easier or more difficult to achieve. However, I may add more goals to the list.

So, now on to the goals:

  1. “Work out” for at least 3 hours per week – 2007 was a great year for me as far as weight loss and overall improved health was concerned. Lindsay and I made concentrated efforts to go to the gym regularly, eat healthy and properly portioned meals, cut down considerably on junk food and do our best to be as active as possible. While 2008 didn’t see any degradation in my health or considerable weight gain (a fluxuation of +- 3 pounds) throughout the year, there was certainly no considerable improvement in my health. In the months prior to the move to Vermont, we were going to the gym regularly and eating healthy home cooked meals. However, after the move, the motivation to work out was not always there or came in spurts before quickly dying out. Coupled with the much larger choice of options when it came to eating vegan food at restaurants in the Burlington/Montpelier area compared to Fredericton, the steady improvement in overall health and weight loss seems to have plateaud. It is my goal to start living an active life once again. I would like to engage in at least 3 hours per week of physical activity or “working out”. That could include cardio at the gym, wii fit, yoga, outdoor activities (hiking, cross country skiing, biking, etc.) and more.
  2. Read at least 12 books in 2009 – This goal may not seem all that lofty, but it is something I haven’t done in quite some time. I used to be an avid reader, capable of reading a 300 page book in one sitting. However, over the past couple years my attention span has dwindled. I am not certain what to attribute this shrinking attention span to (over induling, multi-tasking, adult ADHD, or any combination of these), but I have decided to make an effort to fight it and read on average at least one book a month for the year. I am typically riding public transport for at least 2 hours each day which should help to make this goal achievable.
  3. Eat out only once per week – As I mentioned earlier, Burlington and Montpelier have a much wider selection of choices when it comes to eating out as a vegan whether it’s yummy food, thai food, vegan buffets or organic breakfast bistros, because of this we have definitely been eating out a lot more than we used to and it would be nice to cut down on those sort of activities both in the sense of becoming more healthy and in growing my savings account.
  4. Make more of an effort to stay in touch with my friends – Since I have moved, I have rarely had the chance to call my friends and stay in touch with them. We talk online from time to time but we all have different schedules and different jobs that prevent that from happening too often. I recently purchased unlimited Skype credits for 3 months and no longer have an excuse not to call them (Int’l Long distance on my cell phone is really expensive) and will do my best to call 1 friend every 2 weeks. Starting with Tan-nee on this past Tuesday night 🙂

This is all I’ve got for now, but I may be adding to it as the year progresses. Stay tuned for updates!