What are Your Smart and Simple Goals for 2016?

So this is Christmas LyricsHere we are in December, and another year has almost past. What did you do this year, this month, or this week that moved you closer to where you want to be? I know that I regret some of the decisions that I made this year, one of the biggest being putting my online marketing|writing|socialSEO|website building business on the back burner while I traded my time for a (way too small) paycheck. Time to reflect anew on my SMART and SIMPLE goals for 2016…and I hope you will do the same.

My experience working in finance and automotive industry gave me the opportunity to take courses in goal setting, and it is time to get back to some of those basics and get my goals written down and ready for 2016. One mistake many of us make is deciding on a goal, but not a plan to get there. We still have several weeks to get it together before New Year’s Eve– what amazing things will you achieve next year?



SMART Goals is an acronym, and it spells out simple and commonsense goal-setting techniques.

Specific: No vague generalizations here. Instead of “make lots of money”, be specific–“earn $1 million!”  NO– Write every day|Go to the gym more| Spend less time working. YES– Spend 60 minutes writing each day, or finish and publish a book.| Visit the gym for an hour three times per week.|Schedule your work for specific hours, like 9-5, or 12-8 if you are not a morning person.

Measurable: Your goal needs to have a measuring rod. Monetary goals are pretty simple– but what about things like getting fit, eating properly, effective networking, being happy? Think hard about your goals and be sure that there is a way to measure success and make that part of your plan.

Attainable: Your goals should be lofty enough to challenge you, not out of reach to attain. This one is a little subjective, because it depends upon what you feel is achievable within the given time. Stretch yourself a little here and it will pay off in big dividends. For instance, if you feel that losing 30 pounds in a year is doable, make your goal 50 pounds instead. Then put a plan in place to smash that goal and get super-fit!

Relevant:  Do your goals tie in with your overall life plan? For instance, getting fit will help if one of your long-term goals is to live to be 100. Likewise, making

The Places You'll Go --Dr. Suess

Image courtesy of rootsandwings.blogspot.com

that large sum of money will help if your mission is to travel the world  or set up a trust fund for your grandchildren. You will be much more committed to goals that take you to the places you want to go!

Timely: Quite simply, your goals need to have a deadline to create a sense of urgency. Not  “someday” but in January, or by the end of summer or next Christmas, for instance.

Deadlines are a necessary part of setting up your plan to meet your goal, and will help motivate you toward all your shorter-term goals and tasks. You can set up mini-goals to meet; hitting a goal, no matter how small, can spur you on in the right direction!

Goals are Dreams with Deadlines


SIMPLE Motivations

Now that you have an idea of how to set goals, you need to put your plan in place to get you there.

First things first– break down your goals into a set of regular tasks that can get you closer to your goal. Brainstorm and create an action list of things you need to move you closer to your goal. You cannot eat a cow in a day– but you can break it down into tiny bits and nibble away at it.

Next, set up periodic reviews. This is the time to take a peek at what is working (Yay! Do more of that.) and rid your plan of tasks and actions that are not working out as well as you’d hoped. It is fine to adjust your plan; but always keep your eyes on the ultimate goal. This helps you get closer to your goal through the use of baby steps, as long as they are steps forward.

Tell People. Let others know what your goals are. Support and accountability of friends and colleagues can keep you on track during times when you doubt yourself.

Track your progress. Keep a chart or spreadsheet that shows your progress. This is an awesome motivation tool during times when you feel you’ve hit a snag, and can be the inspiration you need to get moving again.

Have fun. Celebrate milestones, announce benchmarks you hit, reward yourself with something fun and truly motivating. A new dress for a twenty pound weight loss? I am in! Booking a trip after hitting an earnings milestone would surely motivate me as well. The key to moving forward is having fun getting there!

I will be working on my plan for 2016 over the next few weeks– and would love to hear what your SMART and SIMPLE Goals are as well!

Are You a Blog Snob?

Peanuts snob cartoon First, let me say that I belong to some wonderful blogging communities around the web, and feel that I have found an awesome “tribe” of writers. However, a few times I have run across bloggers who feel that their brand of blogging is the only right one (sounds kind of like religion, but that’s for a completely different blog post!) I, for one, love the variety of blog posts and topics that are written by my blogging friends. I only wish that everyone felt the same way.

Yes, this post will be a bit of a rant!

I have been blogging since 2005…I started with a blog to help writers find their way online, Write and Get Paid. There are actually two iterations of that blog live right now– and my project for this weekend is to meld them into one, get rid of outdated posts and update those that will stay. I have several others that are in various stages and admittedly need some love. I started this one in late 2013, and my business website and blog, denisegabbard.com dates to January 4, 2006.  I dare say I have been blogging a lot longer than most people.

snob 3Still, apparently, I have not written enough “real blog posts” to suit some other bloggers. This is what I was told by one when I attempted to reach out and join a blog carnival last summer. I did ask what they constituted as a real blog post, and received no response whatsoever. It really stuck in my craw, but I was new to this particular tribe so I bit my tongue, slapped my fingers and went about my business.

Writing, social media, SEO, and website building is my full-time income and business. It is NOT simply a hobby for me! Now, I do write blog posts about other things that interest me, and this SIMPLE blog came about because I did not want to post about recipes and DIY projects on my business websites. However, the posts that I write on those sites can also help bloggers to gain more traffic and build their brand and influence–they are worthy of being read!

I love reading what my online friends write— even when the topics are those I would normally not be interested in. Elaine Ambrose and her fart story cracked me up to end. I love reading Cathy Chester’s posts about MS and the challenges she faces, even though it’s something that has not touched my life personally. I like reading my blogger friend’s stories about their parenting challenges, and first-time empty-nesting, even though that time of my life is  over. I love seeing photos about crafts and DIY projects that I will never make, and recipes that I probably will not ever cook! In general, I am thrilled that there is such a variety of blog posts to read, and that bloggers take the time to write them.

My point is that the blogosphere is huge, and there are people interested in millions of different topics. What makes you think that only what YOU want to write and read about is worthy of being written or read by others?

blog snobDon’t be a blog snob– embrace your blogger friends, farts and all! You never know where it might lead.

Oh, and if you don’t like my post– definitely do not read this post: http://www.kyliepurtell.com/2013/04/blog-snobs.html as she spells it much more bluntly than I do here.  Or this one by Raven, (her image, too) http://www.dontquotetheraven.com/2012/06/blog-snobs.html, equally eloquent…who knew blog snobbery was so rampant? I love this definition Raven used in her post—

a person who believes himself or herself an expert or connoisseur in a given field and is condescending toward or disdainful of those who hold other opinions or have different tastes regarding this field.

Fits perfectly.  *Sigh* End of rant!

11 Easy Last Minute Costumes

Yep, it IS the eleventh hour and you’re still at work. Does that mean you ditch tonight’s Halloween party since you did not put together an amazing costume.

Heck, no! That means you get creative and find some stuff handy around the house and put together an epic last-minute costume.

Check out these three from the Huffington Post:

How fun! And what could be easier than any of these three?

Here are some more I found on Pinterest:

Simple, simple Scarecrow, just makeup and a hat : simple scarecrow halloween costume


How about this one? Fun for any single guy!   God's gift Halloween costume


A flannel shirt and a headband, and Rosie the Riveter appears!

Rosie the Riveter Halloween costume

Who doesn’t love the Minions from Despicable Me?


A sexy ghost…

sexy ghosts


A festive Christmas tree…
christmas tree


Or a bunch of grapes…

Put your thinking cap on (hmm…THAT could be a costume) and look around…you will find some props to put together something good, now go out and have some fun!!