Saturday, January 05, 2008

Measurable operational goals

The second part of the SMART acronym for good goalmaking is Measurable. Your objective should be objectively measurable or else you will never know if reach your goal or not. If your goal is tied to a subjective measure you still won't know if you reach your goal or not. For instance, if your goal is to "get better" then your feeling of advancement will subjectively vary from day to day or even hour-to-hour. A better goal would be, "I will compete in two tournaments in 2008." This way, at the end of 2008 you will be able to absolutely figure out if you did or didn't achieve the goal.
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Some people call this an operational variable. That is, you define something you want to change (a variable) in terms of the operations that can be made upon that variable. Operations that you can make on a variable basically include increasing it, decreasing it, and measuring it. So, it is a good idea when you are setting up a goal (to change some variable), give some thought as to how you will try to change that variable and how you will measure the change in that variable.
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In the end, this piece of advice from the business world applies:
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"If you can't measure it, you can't control it."
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Don't forget the Call for Submissions for Carnival #5. The theme for this month is related to non-violent resolution of conflict.

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