Creating a Countdown Clock to…

Chris Guillebeau, world famous traveler, best selling author, and guy I’ve met (yeah, I’m totally name-dropping here) posted recently about creating countdown clocks to foster a sense of urgency and awareness for a goal.

I really liked the idea. You can read his blog HERE. It also has a cool story about Chris’s dad.

Oh, I’m not just name-dropping. Here’s a picture of me and Chris together. I guess that means I’m picture-dropping too.

Chris Guillebeau

Right now, my family is living in an apartment in Chattanooga TN. It’s a tiny three bedroom apartment that has me, my wife, four kids in it. Not only that, but we homeschool there, and I also have a home office. We’re just here until we find an area of town where we want to buy land and build a house once we save up some money. There are some perks like a pool and other kids for mine to play with, but I really hate apartment living.

So, I created a countdown calendar for our time to escape this place for a better one (ooh, that sounds ominous). That’s my calendar below. It’s tacked on the wall right beside the main door. You can’t miss it, and that’s the point.

Apartment Countdown Calendar

If you have something you’re planning, dreaming about, or just want to get done, then a countdown calendar might work for you. You can create a big physical one like mine, get a digital app one for your phone or computer, or even get really uber fancy with a crafty one. Either way, no matter what you do, give it a try and see if it helps. Check out the links below for places to find different countdown clocks.

Links-

Countdown clock embedded in your website

Countdown app for your phone

Countdown clock for Word

Fancy crafty countdown calendars

Chris Guillebeau’s Countdown Clock post

Chris Guillebeau’s latest book Born for This

Quit Making Dumb Goals. Make them S-M-A-R-T.

I teach a lot on goal-setting at various conferences and with my coaching clients. Depending on my time with them, I may delve deeper into other related issues, but a core piece of my goal-setting process is the SMART method.

The SMART method is pretty easy and simple to remember. It’s one of the reasons I use it. It stands for…

S- Specific

M- Measurable

A- Achievable

R- Results Based

T- Time Oriented

SMART-Goals-Featured-Image

Here’s an example from my own life…

At the beginning of the year I weighed 243 lbs. My goal for the end of the year is to weigh in as a light heavyweight at 206 lbs or less. That means a loss of 37 lbs for the year, 3.08 lbs per month, or 0.71 lbs per week. Now this is a SMART goal.

Specific– Weigh in at the end of the year at 206 pounds or less.

Measurable– I can look at the scales and see if I’m on track or not.

Achievable– 0.71 pounds per week is very achievable and healthy. Something crazy like 5 pounds per week would be unhealthy.

Results Based– The entire goal is based on my weight results.

Time Oriented– Get it done by the end of January 31. Maybe if I do better than expected I can eat more junk on New Year’s Eve to celebrate the end of the year and meeting my goal.

As of my weigh-in on Monday I’ve lost 5 lbs in 7 weeks, which is 0.71 lbs per week, give or take 15 or more decimal places. I’m right on schedule so far. This is even better than you think because I started my new lifestyle change halfway into January. I’m still going to stick with the beginning of the year as my start date though.

That’s it. I’m doing great on my plan, have set a great set of goals, and I’m well on my way to success. I want you to do the same. I recommend starting small, like this…

  1. Take something you consider a goal or a dream. It could be better fitness, a cruise vacation, or anything that sits unaccomplished.
  2. Grab a piece of paper and write that goal at the top.
  3. Go through the SMART method with your goal. Do not skip any steps. If it doesn’t fit SMART, then you may need to change the goal so that it does.
  4. Now complete it.

I hope this plan helps you. If you would like to delve deeper into goal-setting, please get in touch. I frequently speak at conferences on this topic and also use it to coach individuals in high stress/high danger occupations in career transition.

This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at www.drdavidpowers.com. Thanks for reading!

Links-

My fave goal-setting book by Brian Tracy

Disclaimer- I didn’t invent the SMART method. I first heard it taught in college. The method was first presented by George T. Doran in a 1981 issue of Management Review. 

My Personal Harajuku…Crap on Goals

I just sat in on a class at Horry-Georgetown Technical College (HGTC) in Myrtle Beach SC as part of their new Lead & Inspire program being headed up by my good friend Cindy Ott. I’ll be teaching part of the program soon myself. I’m doing this for two reasons. Number one, it’ll expand the reach of my services by partnering with a great school. Number two, I’m a HGTC alumnus. My first two Associate degrees are from there, and it’s a pleasure to be walking the halls as part of the faculty.

Today’s class was Managing the Process taught by Kimberly Raymond. A great class but I’d like to focus on the goal-setting portion. Ms Raymond used the SMART acronym to expand on the process of goals. If you’re not familiar, or if you are and you’ve been too lazy to use it, it’s a great method for setting awesome goals. Chris Guillebeau hit on goals in his recent blog post as well.

S- Specific

M- Measurable

A- Achievable

R- Results-Based

T- Time-Oriented

Ms Raymond used her own weight loss goals as the example, so I did the same and mapped out my personal weight loss goals during the class. I’ve set general goals and made great progress, but I had yet to make it SMART.

So here we go…

At the beginning of the year I weighed 243 lbs. My goal for the end of the year is to weigh in as a light heavyweight at 206 lbs or less. That means a loss of 37 lbs for the year, 3.08 lbs per month, or 0.71 lbs per week. Now this is a SMART goal.

As of my weigh-in on Monday I’ve lost 5 lbs in 7 weeks, which is 0.71 lbs per week, give or take 15 or more decimal places. I’m right on schedule so far. This is even better than you think because I started my new lifestyle change halfway into January. I’ve only been actively on the plan for 4 weeks. I’m still going to stick with 1/1/11 as my start date though.

That’s it. I’m doing great on my plan, have set a great set of goals, and I’m well on my way to success.

Mucho thanks to Cindy and Kimberly for letting me sit in on the class. I’m looking forward to teaching with you soon.