How do you know that you are spending your time on the right things to give you what you want in your life? Time is a resource to get you what you want. Every choice you are making in relation to where you are spending your time contributes to how your life is happening for you. To make the right decisions on where to spend your time, you need to know what you are aiming for. What are the outcomes that you want to achieve?

The start of September is when school holidays are coming to an end and people start to prepare for the new school term. For me, September always feels like the start of a new year. Once I finished with education and my holiday time was no longer officially June – August (school holidays in Ireland), I still gravitated towards September being a fresh start. I went travelling after University and started my first “real/grown-up” job in September of the following year. I left that job 3 years later in August and started my next job in September. I left that job three years later in September and took a few weeks of travel before starting my third real job! Each year, when I take a holiday at some point during the summer, I take time to regroup and look to see what I’m going to achieve in the following year. I don’t always just decide to leave the job I’m in every three years!!! I focus on the goals / outcomes I want to achieve in both my professional & personal life.

You may already have come across the SMART acronym when thinking about the goals you want to achieve. Ensuring your goals are SMART helps you to be very clear on what you’re aiming at & look back to see if you achieved it at the end. Check if the goals you have set are SMART:

Specific: Clarity on what the goal is so you know what action to take to get there

Measurable: Ability to measure your progress against the goal & know when you have achieved it

Achievable: Set a goal that isn’t too easy or too hard to achieve

Relevant: Relevant to you (personal) or to your work (professional)

Timebound: Set out within a specific timeframe to achieve the goal


E.g. I have a salary increase of €5k by the end of December; I am running a 10km race in 50 minutes by 21st November

When setting out my goals, I look at the outcomes I want to achieve and ensure my outcomes are ACCEPTED:

Action Think about the actions you are going to take to move you closer to achieving the outcome. Everyday, ask yourself – what action can I take to get me closer to the outcome I want to achieve?

Challenging Stretch me to learn something new / improve something that I can currently do

Comfort zone Set my goal outside my comfort zone so I feel slightly uncomfortable when I aim for it. Once it’s achieved I’ve stretched my own comfort zone

Exciting Are you looking forward to working on the outcome? Is it interesting for you –  if not, understand your motivation for wanting to achieve it? What will this outcome give you?

Present tense and Positive Write down your goal in the present tense & focus the goal on what you are going to do rather than what you don’t want to achieve

Timebound Have a deadline date for when you want to achieve the outcome – this may change (once you complete the last two parts of this)

Evaluate Over time circumstances change & the outcomes you want to achieve may have altered or the timeframe may also change. That’s ok. Check if the goal is still aligned with your current circumstances & decide whether to keep goign or change it.

Do Again Re-assess & realign your outcome to ensure you still ACCEPT it & own it as yours

When overwhelmed, break down your goal into a smaller goal so that you ACCEPT it. Share on X

Write down the outcomes that you want to achieve. If they feel overwhelming for you – check whether you can break it down into a smaller goal so that you ACCEPT it. As we are now mid-way through September, check what you want to achieve between now & the end of this year? What goals/objectives did you set at the beginning of the year? Now might be the time to evaluate how you are progressing with these & re-assess & realign your goals & objectives to keep you focused for the rest of the year.

Let me know what goals/objectives you are setting out to achieve for the rest of this year?

SMART goals

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