Categorized | Pesach

The Post Passover Organizing Challenge Step Two

Posted on 14 July 2010

The Post Passover Organizing Challenge Step Two-Make sure your goals are SMART

If you’re following our Post Passover Organizing Challenge, then by now you’ve identified which areas of your home you’d like to tackle from now through the end of June. (Click here to catch up on the first step of the challenge)

Now, you must make sure that your goals are SMART, otherwise you’ll set yourself up for failure. And we don’t want that!!!

Here’s the SMART formula if you do decide you’d like to participate in your personal challenge.

    S – specific

    M – measurable

    A – achievable and attainable, action oriented

    R – realistic, results-oriented

    T – time-based, tangible, trackable

You may be able to see right now why it’s critical that all goals be SMART. If you just say out loud, “I’m going to get my house organized before summer,” without specific tasks, dates, or a way to measure your successes, you’ll never get it done and just feel disappointed that you weren’t able to accomplish that small inkling of desire you had when you first thought about getting organized.

Think about anything in life that you do or have done really, really well. Most likely, it’s due to the fact that it followed the SMART formula in some fashion.

Let’s get to work.
If you’ve decided you would like to take advantage of the next few months before summer to organize your home, let’s start by identifying the areas that need to get organized and then determining if your goals are SMART enough.

To assist you with this, let’s start by taking out a notebook and drawing five columns on the page. First column is the room you are in. Second column is the area you wish to organize. The Third column is the level of priority. The Fourth column is the level of difficulty. The Fifth Column is the Date you will accomplish the actual task of organizing.

What you put into the form could be something as small as the junk drawer in your kitchen, for instance, or something more vague like a system that needs to be developed for putting away your Shabbat china each week, or getting dinner on the table each night. Don’t sweat the details, just get it down on paper.

Just take a casual walk around the house and do a “brain dump”- looking at all of the areas in your home you wish to organize.

Here’s an example of my own “brain dump” for my home office. My home office is a separate room in my house that my husband and I share. Doesn’t sound too bad, does it? Well, what I haven’t said is that at one point, myself and my husband were each running 3 separate businesses plus managing all household papers in one room. You can imagine the amounts of paperwork and clutter that began to pervade throughout the room.

I followed my own advice and put together a brief chart. My chart identified all of the “pockets” of clutter in my office and the level of difficulty, how long I thought it would take me to organize them, and by when I would finish.

Here’s how I made sure these were SMART goals. It wasn’t enough for me to just think, “I’m going to organize the office”. I needed S-Specifics. I needed to know what specific areas in the office needed decluttering. You can see here, that I knew which “pockets” of my office were disorganized and needed help.
My goals were also Measurable- meaning, I would know when I was complete with each task. I knew that for the file cabinet, I wanted to go through each file folder and get rid of outdated papers, shredding the documents from past years that we no longer needed. I knew I wanted to be able to stick my hand into the file cabinets without my cuticles bleeding. Yes, it was measurable, because I knew that when my cuticles stopped bleeding, the job was complete.
Organizing the office was also something that was both action oriented, and attainable. Meaning, this were specific actions that I needed to complete in order to attain organization. Were they realistic and results oriented? Yes. I accomplished what I set out to do because they were realistic. If not, I think I would have set myself up for failure, possibly attempting to organize the office but not finishing the project and enjoying the results that come along with a finished project. And the last word in the SMART formula that we need to check in with is if my goals were time-based, trackable, and tangible. I knew when I needed to finish my goals, so they were time-based. I also had a feeling for how long these tasks would take me so I could track my progress along the way. I could also see that my goals were tangible since they produced real results that I was very excited about. And so was my husband when he came home!

It pays to dedicate just a few minutes thought to your goals and whether they follow the SMART formula so there will be no doubt of your success and a finished project.

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