One “unusual” goal I set for myself is based on ridding myself of items that I don’t need or wouldn’t ever be using. I actually base this goal on weight – I aim to reduce my assets by 500 pounds each year.
Well, it’s not exactly like that – I still buy things and end up adding to my collection of assets in the way of books or electronics or furniture. I measure what I get rid of or replace. It’s not an easy goal for me to achieve – I don’t regularly buy new televisions or DVD’s or furniture, which would make it somewhat easy to simply get rid of the old stuff (ask anyone in my family about the leather couch I toted around with me from college to job to grad school to job). I also don’t go out and buy clothes frequently so I don’t turn over my wardrobe much.
So how can I turn this into a S.M.A.R.T. goal? Remember, S.M.A.R.T. goals are specific, measurable, achievable, measurable, and time-based. Let’s look at the who, what, when, where, why, and how of this goal.
Who: Me. I think it’s pretty safe to say that I’m the only person affected by this goal. If/when I pick up and move, it would also affect whomever is with me or is helping me out as that’s less they have to carry or pack.
What: I will reduce my belongings by 500 pounds by the end of the year. Items I would look to reduce include unused furniture, obsolete electronics, excess supplies, clothing I don’t anticipate wearing often anymore, old papers I’ve collected over the years, CD’s and DVD’s, books I’ve either read and will never read again or that I will never get to, extra dishes, old sporting goods, and anything that I look to upgrade.
When: I have 12 months to get this done. That should be enough time for me to sort through all of my papers and determine what isn’t needed, or how many of my 100+ shirts I’ll never wear again, or if I should replace this set of wood-grain-paneled speakers that are older than me, etc.
Where: Anywhere I have “stuff,” which is simply at my place of residence. I don’t keep any assets in other locations. I’m not quite at the stage in my career where I can support a summer home in the Hamptons.
Why: I do this to simplify my life and to make sure I’m keeping only the important things I need and nothing I don’t. Christmas cards provide more value when they’re actually written and mailed than they do when they’re in a box in a closet.
How: I will sort through all of my belongings and determine what I need and what I don’t. I will measure the weight of what I decide to eliminate using a weight scale. I will dispose of these items either through the trash, through recycling, through Goodwill donations (tax deduction!), through hand-me-downs to family and friends, or through sales on eBay (DVD’s, CD’s, clothing items).
Setting S.M.A.R.T. goals is not so hard, nor is it difficult to follow through. This goal is realistic and I’ve achieved it the last few years (letting my leather couch go was a very sad day).