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Being S.M.A.R.T.

December 21, 2010

It’s a really strange time right now. We’re hovering right at the end of the year but it’s not quite time to fall into the next.

I’ve been thinking about what my goals, or resolutions if you like, for 2011 will be and I’ve got quite a list going. (Did I tell you I love lists? Like, I heart them. I’ll make lists about the lists I’ve already made…it’s out of control.)

Chances are, you’ve heard of setting S.M.A.R.T. goals.  Several of my nursing school professors were big on having us set these to help us determine what we wanted to get out of our education. I hated doing them and figured it was just another tactic to keep us busy.  The funny thing is, when I put on paper these goals that were so specific, they ended up happening!

S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym that stands for:

SpecificWhat is it you want to do? Saying “I want to be debt free” is great, but so vague. Instead you could say “I want to pay off my five smallest outstanding debts”.

MeasurableThere is a quantifiable way to determine if the goal has been reached. What must the total be for the debt to be paid? $0.00!!

AttainableYour goal must be able to be able to be reached. Setting a goal that you can never reach will only frustrate you. Is this something you can really do? 5 debts, absolutely!

RealisticEvaluate yourself honestly. Do you have what it takes to achieve this or does there need to be some adjustment made? I have a source of income, will be making a budget, and the desire to complete my goal. This will work!

TimedThis is the time frame in which you plan to complete your goal. I want to complete this goal by December 2011.

Easy enough, right? As long as you do it, sure. Getting started can sometimes be the place where most people get stuck but right now it doesn’t matter if it’s right or wrong. Just write it down and we can tweak it later.

I’ll go first.

  • -Complete a monthly budget by January 1, 2011.
  • -Save $1000 in Emergency Fund by June 1, 2011.
  • -Make comprehensive list of debts by January 31, 2011.  Debt/creditor listed in descending order from least amount owed to most.
  • -Begin Debt Snowball immediately after Emergency Fund is fully-funded.
  • -Complete one financial challenge per month. More to come on this.
  • -Institute chore/allowance program for E by January 31, 2011.
  • -Open a savings account for E by January 15, 2011.
  • -Have a garage sale in May 2011. (Proceeds to go toward Emergency Fund or Debt Snowball, accordingly)
  • -Take a minimum of 6 credit hours in college each quarter until the end of 2011.

So there you have it! Organization is going to be a key step in the whole thing, and there will be more to come on that but right now just get started on writing  down all of your ideas and thoughts. Your goals will come from that!

Can you believe it’s almost 2011?  I’m very excited about what the coming year has to offer, and what we’re going to be doing here at $ingle Mom Money.

What are you looking forward to? What are your goals for 2011?

See you soon!

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Rosina permalink
    January 10, 2011 10:10 pm

    I love your blog. I started to become a blog addict over Christmas break. I dabble in the blog writing but I am just at the crawling phase. I am a single mom of two toddlers and needed a blog for single moms and money issues so I am glad I stumbled upon your blog. ANYHOO, I love this post, I am a teacher and we just started doing the whole SMART goal thing at the beginning of the year. Like I you, I really dreaded it in the beginning but I love how you transferred it to your personal life. Look forward to reading more in the future.

    • January 11, 2011 4:39 am

      Thanks for stopping by; I’m so glad to have you! Two toddlers and you’re a teacher, you’re a busy mom!

      Once I started making SMART goals it was amazing the things I would follow through on…it’s the need to cross something off of a list that drives me.

      Single parent finance is definitely a different kind of thing and I do hope that something I experience will help someone else or shed light on that fact.

  2. Nicky permalink
    December 25, 2010 10:51 am

    Typing this on my blackberry. Your site works great on a bb by the way. Really impressed. I could easily spend that on breakfast or lunch. Gonna have to start bringing lunch to work. Funny you mention Diet pepsi, my addiction is Ginger Ale. I keep one in my bag at all times, never know when you’ll get a craving! I buy it at BJs (think Costco, Sams Club) so my $5 wouldn’t go towards that.

    • December 26, 2010 11:54 pm

      I absolutely have to start taking my lunch to work. My worst habit is stopping at Mcdonalds for a Diet Coke, but in just the last week I’ve saved about $10 by NOT doing that. The ‘latte factor’ is a reality!

  3. Nicky permalink
    December 24, 2010 9:37 pm

    1. Pay off car loan by Dec 2011. owe $13000
    2. Save $5 a day. Just came up with this one a few hrs ago from reading a PF blog

    #1 is my main, main, main focus. i have this written down in an excel spreadsheet. sooooo excited for 2011.

    • December 25, 2010 12:41 am

      Great goals! I finally paid off my car last year and it has been so wonderful not having a car payment!

      Saving $5 a day is awesome! It’s so easy to nickel and dime that much away everyday. Do you find that you spend that much on any one thing daily?

      I could probably spend that much in Diet Pepsi alone, everyday!

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