“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”
Today officially marks my 90-day completion into my incarceration journey. Ninety days tend to be an import number in the business world; it marks a quarter or 3-month date. Publically traded companies generally breakdown their reporting into quarterly increments allowing them to track their progress and report back to their investors. Private companies use it to close their books with their accountants and backs and ensure they are maintaining focus necessary for year end goals. So let me fill you in on how I have performed so far so you can hold me accountable in my progress thus far:
-Completed reading 23 books
-Landed one of the top jobs in the institution
-Complied a list of well over a 100 names and addresses for my felon banking project (Thanks Tina!)
-Completed my fifth blog post
-Starting a new book project (more on this later)
-Have lost a significant amount of body fat while simultaneously gaining muscle and strength due to a daily fitness routine
I am not pointing these things out to pat myself on the back, but rather to let you know that each accomplishment here is a result to predetermined meticulous planning and execution. In a nutshell, I set a goal, created a pathway to achieve it, took incremental steps to get there and kept track of my progress day to day while holding myself accountable. These are all moving the needle closer to reaching my definition of success; a process I outlined in my book Succeed by Failing. And as part of this process was to breakdown each of my goals into SMART goals which is acronym for the following:
S – Specific goal
M – Measureable
A – Attainable
R – Realistic
T – Time Bound
I like to say that goals are a moving target. As you map out your ideas and create the pathway, the thought process and mindset will evolve. You will strengthen your position and perhaps become more efficient in the process or the way you see things, which may slightly alter the course. But as long as you are setting realistic metrics, taking incremental action steps, and doing it in a time bound manner, you will be operating in a SMART manner and headed towards an eventual finish line. The best use of this frame work is to envision your future, set the goal, and hold yourself accountable for when you fall off track. Here is a simple example of one of my goals: Reading while serving my time.
Specific – Read at minimum a 100 books over the course of two years.
Measurable – Each book completed equals one point.
Attainable – Accumulating a 100 points in 24 months.
Realistic – 24 months is over a 100 weeks; a time to goal ratio well within reach.
Time Bound – Obtain a 100 points, or more, in a 100 weeks.
One of the most important aspects I have learned is that the past does not definite your future. Simply put, you cannot change it. But you can, in the present, take what you have learned in the past and use it to build a better future. Be SMART about it.