We all have goals. I have goals. I have no time to think about them between the rush of work, school and life. I have so many that I have lost track of them. When I find my tattered lists here and there when cleaning, I think, “Oh yeah. So. That goal. Man, that’s a great goal. I’m nowhere nearer to that goal now than when I wrote it 5 years ago.” Then there’s that wash of disappointment. Feeling me? Right.
What to do!
According to all the Einsteins of the task management world, there are certain things we must do to get that goal good. Well, better than what I’ve done before, obviously.
One way is the SMART way. Told you that Einstein was involved.
- Specific. Using the question words of journalism might help: who, what, where, why, when, how.
- Measurable. How else can I check it off if there’s no unit of measurement?
- Attainable. Can I even do it? It should be broken down into things I can accomplish to spur me on.
- Realistic. I’m not going to build a skyscraper by myself. I can change one thing though. That’s not so scary with everything else going on, right?
My memory bank says that 3-4 weeks is the amount of time it takes a habit to stick. 30 days (some months). That’s not long, right? Forever to me. But in the grand scheme of things, it’s a nugget of time. 30 days.
I have so many options for goals. Let’s narrow it down to “greening.” I still use plastic bags at the grocery store. I still use plastic bags to put my vegetables in at the grocery store. I am better about checking the air in my tires. I’ve bought items on sale at the store and packaged them up for the freezer (this helps by giving me more money for buying organic and locally). I buy my breakfast and lunch at work and get them in non-reusable to-go containers. Did I hear a gasp? Yes. I do. Horrible, I know. Oh!
I will bring my own breakfast in a reusable container or eat breakfast at home 4 out of 5 days of the week. I will bring my own lunch in a reusable container 1 out of 5 days of the week. I will accomplish both of these by planning ahead. I can cook up a large batch of oatmeal and section it out the night before. I can bring in cinnamon for sprinkling after I warm it in the microwave. I will plan ahead when cooking dinner and make up a container of food for lunch. I will bring with these meals silverware that will be taken home with the containers and washed.
Sound good? Very long. But it’s very specific, attainable, realistic, and timely. I know it’ll be easier to do oatmeal at breakfast and that would save lots of trash (and maybe money). The lunch will be a bit more difficult and that’s why I set it to one day a week for now. More is great. Less is not acceptable. Whip snap.