The Year of Goals
With 2012 in the rear view mirror and 2013 in full swing, it seems an appropriate time to discuss goals. I’ve never been one for ‘new year’s resolutions’, in part because they are so often associated with dieting or exercise habits and in part because I feel that I already have more than enough ‘life goals’ to fulfill. However, given how busy I am between a full time job, being a partner in two small businesses, working towards my professional licensure, maintaining a blog (however poorly), having a variety of time-consuming hobbies and of course being as good a wife/sister/daughter I can be, I often wake up to realize that my goals have passed by year after year unfulfilled. I find that reviewing and renewing goals at regular intervals can help us re-focus, re-energize and remember our dreams.
For 2013, I’m digging in immediately and setting some pretty lofty goals for myself. Whether I complete them all according to my deadlines is to be determined, but even if I fall a little short, I’ll at least be closer to them than I am at this moment. Two vital aspects of goal setting is sharing them with others and setting deadlines; both of these actions establish accountability. For me, a long term goal usually remains that way because smaller, short term goals seem to pop up and take precedence over my long term ones. Anything that is a year away tends to keep getting pushed back or shrugged off because “I have a year to take care of it”. Near the end of 2012 I decided to complete all of my Architect Registration Exams by the end of 2013. While I had hoped to finish 3 exams in 2012, I only completed one. I’m happy that I finally got started, but I was a little frustrated that I didn’t meet my goal to complete all three. Looking back, the reasons included being too busy with side projects, getting distracted with ‘life’ events and a dash of indifference; the old “I still have X amount of time” came up more than once.
This year, I decided that instead of setting the goal to ‘finish my exams by the end of 2013’, I would finish my exams by the end of June. That’s right, I plan to take six exams in six months. While this schedule is a little tight, it is totally feasible. There are several reasons for undertaking this goal, but the main ones include:
- My husband is studying for his final CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst)exam which takes place in June. We could both be done with professional exams at the same time and – GASP – go live life together, exam free!
- NCARB is switching testing administration companies, which will cause a 2 month (or more) ‘blackout’. No test taking, no test scheduling. It implies there could be a bottle neck of test taking and registration once the blackout is over. I’d rather avoid it.
- My IDP (Intern Development Program) should be wrapping up around the summer, meaning my tests and logging of 5600 work hours in specific categories will be complete at the same time
- I want to grow the residential design portion of Architangent and be able to provide more services for designing and remodeling homes. Studying for exams is taking up time that could be spent working with clients and making money. (Not to mention the raise/promotion that comes with becoming a registered architect). I feel that dividing my time between side projects and studying is hurting both, so the faster I can get my tests done, the better it will be all around. (I plan to limit new projects I take on, but not eliminate them completely)
Well, there you have it! I’ve shared my goal to complete my exams by the end of June, and I hope you’ll stick around for the ride. You’ll have to excuse me if I don’t have a ton of time to write posts (I know, they haven’t been as regular these past few months – remember those side projects?), but I’ll try to keep up by summarizing my study plans and pass/fails – hopefully encouraging others on this road to keep at it by sharing my experiences. What goals have you set this year? Have you shared them with anyone? Feel free to leave a comment about your goals.
Check out this video on productivity and goal setting: (Hint, the most important part is starting, so go get started on your goals!)
Written by: Brinn Miracle