Thursday 31 December 2009

A 'SMART' New Start

You can take the girl out of the Learning Mentoring but you can't take the Learning Mentoring out of the girl. Or so it would seem.

One of the things my mentor training taught me was how to set Specific, Measureable, Achieveable, Realistic and Time-related targets for the children I worked with. In short, it's all about setting goals which are achievable as nobody wants or needs to be set up to fail, least of all some of the kids I came across.

That said, 'acheivable' is not the same thing as 'easy'. Once each tiny goal was reached and reflected back on it often built into something quite significant. For example, there were the very quiet children whose target was to speak once in class, or there was the hyperactive Jordan [ahhh Jordan ... a complete and utter legend who I always thought of as a real life / 10 year old Joey from Friends, of whom I could regale you with tales of sheer hilarity. Remind me to share with you his concerns about the Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi one day ....but I digress!]. Yes, good old Jordan whose targets I kind of, sort of, ended up adapting into something resembling gambling ... "I bet you can't sit still for 2 minutes"... and so on ...for an hour! Hey, it worked for him and his teacher, who despaired over who would get him to stay in his seat after I left the school!

So, what's this got to do with anything? Well, it's that time of year isn't it? Where people set themselves grand life-changing goals but which, more often than not, will probably be forgotten or 'failed' by February. Which is where my approach to target setting comes in. I don't do resolutions - they're too big, too wooly, too huge-yet-still-vague. I need to take my big goals and break them down into smaller steps's all connected to that thrill of crossing something of my 'To Do' list [if that makes me sad ...then so be it!].

Here's a layout I made at this time last year, which shows some of the small targets I set myself :
And I reckon that I achieved most of that. Go me! Put a tick on my behaviour chart, slap a shiny 'Well Done' sticker on my jumper and send the house points my way, thank you very much.

So, onto the 2010 targets. Here's the layout:
[Materials used: corrugated card; mini-alphas; vintage alphas; number brads; index label; '10' card and ticket from various Gauche Alchemy kits. Patterned papers; 'Ten' tag; vintage book page; yellow index card and green cardstock from the 'Resolutions' kit from Crafty Templates. The vintage wallpaper print circles were a digital download from SooArt on Etsy.]

And here's where I will be writing those goals:

The thing is ... I haven't actually pinned any concrete targets down and I don't want to just make something up to fill a blank section on a page. So, I'll be giving it a little more thought before committing the list to paper.

But I will certainly get it done. I think it's important to put things in writing as, even if I show no one else's seems more official when it's all there in front of me in black and white! I remember when I made the following layout, almost two years ago now and how, after coming up with the title I struggled so much with filling out the dreams and wishes sections:

Now, I don't consider myself superstitious, but something back then was preventing me from allowing myself to write down what it was I wanted ... in case it somehow got taken away from me. I can't remember what it was that changed my mind but eventually I wrote it all down and soon afterwards a lot of positive things connected to my dreams began to happen. Obviously it wasn't anyhting to do with creating the layout itself ... but it was related to getting those goals clear in my head and subsequently, actively, working on them.

If you make a date to check back in with me this time next year, I'll share my '10 targets for 2010' with you.

Don't be surprised if 'to be able to sit still for 2 minutes' features in there somewhere!

Happy New Year!

J x


  1. Happy New Year Julie I hope you reach your targets.

    I really enjoyed the 12 Days of Christmas I joined in with this year and will be trying to journal more in 2010.

    Continue to Inspiration. Love Traceyr :) x

  2. Happy 2010 Julie, I'm wondering if "explore more cocktails" will be on your list?
    I love making lists there's nothing more satisfying than crossing something off.

  3. Wow, you have inspitred me to 'do' this year and not just 'wish I could' - thank you.....

    Happy New Year to you....x

  4. Happy New Year Julie! I've seen some people writing about their "intentions" instead of "goals" and I like that idea too..sort of sounds like you are easing yourself in gently!

  5. Happy New Year to you too. I think you can safely say that you achieved quite alot in 2009 and I'm sure that in 2010 you will be just as successful (if not more!)

    Last year - I wanted to set up a website and amazingly I did it. This year - I'm going to make sure I keep creating.

  6. Snow-day allowing me to catch up with your blog, Julie! Love the bit about being reluctant to write something down in case it got taken away - had not thought of it like this before, but can absolutely see and feel now how that can be a factor. Looking forward to seeing you continue to flourish in 2010! Oh, and love the extension of 'pattern' into your life... :) x alexa


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