Week 1 was our set up week. Looking broadly for the big goals, identifying the habits that would help us get there.

Week 2 is all about putting it in practice. Setting the intention, following the schedule, and holding myself accountable. Here’s what I expect from myself this week:

  • Update my freelancer profile on Upwork
  • Submit one Upwork proposal
  • Apply for one full time job
  • Reach out within my professional networks for any outstanding RFPs

Three of these are good goals for myself – they are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. But that last one… it feels a little squishy. It’s not all that specific – which professional networks? The people I worked with when I was in an office? Current or past clients? Friends who are in my field? How am I going to reach out to them? Invite them for coffee? Email each person specifically?

If you’re trying to figure out whether your goals are SMART spend some time interrogating your goals or tasks. What are the actual steps you will take to accomplish the goal? Sometimes we fail to make a goal specific enough to accomplish as a way of giving ourselves not to complete it. Why would we do this? These tend to be the most challenging of our goals, whether professionally or personally challenging.

As I look back at that last goal on my list I realize that yes, it does present me with a number of personal challenges. First, I’m an introvert, and networking takes a lot out of me. I don’t often go to networking events, and I am sure my business has suffered from that. Second, I dislike asking for help, especially if it reveals to others (friends, people I respect), that I may be struggling to do something I am “supposed” to be good at.

I encourage you to interrogate your goals, especially any that fail to meet the “Specific” bar for a SMART goal. If you have trouble figuring out how to make your goal specific, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Why haven’t I done this before?
  2. What challenges to I anticipate as I work towards accomplishing this goal?
  3. What are five discrete tasks I need to do in order to accomplish this goal?

As you consider your answers to these questions you may find that the goal you’ve set is simply too large, and should be broken down into smaller goals. That’s fine, and possibly the easiest solution. It will be any answers to the first and second question that elicit any personal challenges you’ll need to acknowledge in order to succeed.