Writing measurable goals and limitless mission statements

I’m wiped out after eating school food in 2010. I can’t really muster enough strength to think about my goals for 2011. I did write some goals for 2010 and I want to share with you how I wrote them.

I write yearly, personal resolutions (and that’s when I got the idea for this blog a year ago!!) and make sure they are measurable and hopefully somewhat attainable. To make a goal measurable, it’s necessary to add quantifiable information including deadlines.

Instead of writing:
I will read more books
I wrote:
I will read 5-6 books in 2010.
It’s a better goal because it specifies what exactly I need to do to be successful. Additionally, I wrote the goal as a minimal estimate of what I could do for the year. I assumed I would easily read that many books and if you count audiobooks, I met that goal. Yeah me!

Instead of writing:
Write more handwritten letters
I wrote:
Write 5 personal letters every six months.
I did not meet this goal. I used to be a letter writer, but this year was too busy for me. I think my real-life friends understand though…

Instead of writing:
Cook new recipes when I canI wrote:
Cook a new dinner recipe every 4 to 6 weeks.
I didn’t meet this goal. Some months I was able to do it, but other months I didn’t.

Instead of writing:
Go on a family vacation
I wrote:The family will travel far away this summer by August 2010
I met this goal. We took a family vacation in July to visit family — and we flew so it was far away :)

Instead of writing:
Spend less time online
I wrote:
I will reduce time online by one hour total each week in 2010.
I’m laughing so hard right now. I can’t believe that I thought I could launch this blog AND spend less time online. Not met, not even close!

I believe that writing a goal is different than composing a mission statement. I think of a mission statement as a broader idea. Goals can be enumerated under a mission statement, but a mission statement can be vague as it inspires and directs, but doesn’t measure.

The blog’s goal to “eat school lunch every day in 2010 just like the kids” and mission “to raise awareness about school lunch” was fulfilled. I can’t believe I did it. On to more missions and adventures in 2011!

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One Response to Writing measurable goals and limitless mission statements

  1. emily January 2, 2011 at 9:43 am #

    that's a really good idea to write your goals with quantifiable info and deadlines. when i occasionally make goals for myself, i tend to write "mission statements". i'll be writing them this way from now on!

    congratulations on the goals you achieved this year, especially this blog!!

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