Welcome to The pAuDcast! In today’s show, Chris Cox Au.D., and Riley Bass Au.D., explore the topic of setting S.M.A.R.T. goals. Remember receiving that syllabus when you were in school? Create your own syllabus for your personal, professional and financial life through these actionable tips!
Read the transcript:
RILEY BASS: No, you are not listening to a World Cup soccer game, but we are going to talk about goals today. My name is Riley Bass–
CHRIS COX: And I’m Chris Cox–
RILEY BASS: And we are the hosts of The pAuDcast. Hopefully, you tuned in to our last one and our–
CHRIS COX: First one.
RILEY BASS: Our first one, which was also our last one.
CHRIS COX: That’s right.
RILEY BASS: And joining us again, because we didn’t scare you off.
CHRIS COX: So today, I know what we’re going to be talking about is what goals look like, how to set them, how to achieve them, and what are some good strategies around that.
RILEY BASS: And why it’s important to set goals in the first place.
CHRIS COX: So Riley, when we’re looking at goals, you’re telling me about a goal that you have, and it’s a recent goal of yours and how you’ve worked your way through that.
RILEY BASS: Yeah, absolutely. I decided I wanted to get in better shape. And a lot of people share that goal, especially here in the office at our Audigy headquarters, we are very goal oriented. And we talk about that a lot. And it’s a very commonly shared goal amongst everyone on our team. And it’s been something that I had to really commit to. I had to start journaling about it, I had to be really accountable to myself.
Because before that when I just was sort of halfway trying, I wasn’t seeing the results I wanted to. And really committing to a plan and writing it out helped me say these are the rules for myself, and this is what I have to do in order to achieve that goal. And the reason I keep reaching towards it is because I told myself I could buy some reward treats for every milestone that I reach. And there are things that I’ve wanted for a while that if do what I need to do, I get to treat myself.
CHRIS COX: A dozen donuts.
RILEY BASS: Right, ice cream, candy bars. But you know, it’s important to treat yourself.
CHRIS COX: Treat yourself.
RILEY BASS: So having something to strive for makes it a lot easier to stay focused on that goal, when you think about what you want to achieve in the long run.
CHRIS COX: So were you able to achieve a goal?
RILEY BASS: Yeah, I reached my first milestone goal, and then I got to buy myself a treat, which was just new workout clothes, because that’s what I’ve been doing a lot of lately. And then I have goals placed every couple months of what I’m trying to achieve. And then if I get that goal, then I get to buy myself something else. So it’s working so far.
CHRIS COX: Awesome, and it’s really good to hear that. I know that a lot of people have that same sort of goal in either eating healthier, or trying to lose weight, or being able to train themselves for runs or triathlons or whatever it may be, because they’re crazy. But it all starts with that initial thought of where do I want to be? What is it that I want to look like? What is it that I want to sound like?
And you have to start from there and look forward. Where is that spot up ahead of me that I need to reach, and how do I get there?
RILEY BASS: Right, absolutely. We’re reading a book right now, and if you follow the Backwards Book Club, then you might recognize this quote. This is from Robert Anthony’s Beyond Positive Thinking. “Goal setting is simply making choices. Goal setting is knowing where you want to go. If you don’t know where you want to go, you’ll probably end up someplace else. If we’re not achieving or capable of achieving, it’s because our goals are not clearly defined.”
CHRIS COX: That is so good. I love that one. And it speaks so much to where a lot of us, especially in this newer generation, are finding ourselves now at this point, with just kind of being out there not really knowing where to go and floating in the wind hoping that we catch on to something. And it takes us the way that we are hoping to go.
RILEY BASS: Are you guilty of ever having done that, Chris?
CHRIS COX: Not at all. We all kind of do that. It’s one of those things where especially when you’re younger, you just think you know what, I’ve got plenty of time to go out there and do whatever I want. And eventually, I’ll get that great job and get the career path that I want. And it’s all just going to work itself out. And to some degree, it does all work itself out. But you also aren’t doing yourself any favors if you’re not at least getting a vision of where you want to be to get started there.
So if we want to set these goals, and if we want to make some sort of positive movement in our life, we definitely have to have a strategy to go about it. What’s funny is that with all of the students that we speak with, and some of you may have heard this already, but we’ve spent our lives in school. Every semester, what do we get?
RILEY BASS: A syllabus.
CHRIS COX: A syllabus. It’s a plan of attack for the next three months. And they tell us when our homework is due, it tells us when our midterms are, it tells us when our final exams are, and a lot of the expectations that are there. And we get stuck in that rut of we get the syllabus, this is our plan, these are goals, and then we go through it.
What happens sometimes is you get done with school, you get dropped out into the real world, and all of a sudden, you don’t have a syllabus to go by.
RILEY BASS: Right. Nobody’s going to tell you what to do, or where to go, or when to do what.
CHRIS COX: And it’s a little bit freeing, but at the same time, it can be absolutely intimidating to be out there on your own and have to start figuring out how you’re going to pay bills, and how you’re going to start paying back those student loans that most of us have. So it’s an interesting thing to see. And if you don’t have that goal-oriented thinking developed before you even get out of school, it can be a really big wake up call for you once you graduate.
RILEY BASS: Especially when that six month grace period on your student loans is over, and you get that first bill in the mail and you say, how is this going to work? It’s definitely a frightening day, that it takes planning and figuring out how you’re going to take care of all those things. Because unfortunately at some point, we all have to grow up and start adult-ing, as scary as it may be.
RILEY BASS: Adult-ing is right. The good news for us in the chosen profession of audiology, we’re always going to have job opportunities. And it may not be right in the spot that you want it to be, but you’ll always have the opportunities to get a job, because let’s face it, our major clientele, most of our patients are getting older, not younger. And it’s a great opportunity for us. And I’m really excited to be a part of this profession right now. And now it’s up to us to figure out what it’s going to look like for ourselves and where we want to put ourselves and position ourselves for our career.
So Riley, when we’re looking at making goals, what do we normally talk about in this regard? How do we categorize these goals out?
RILEY BASS: Well, there’s three main categories of goals that most adults would have. Personal, professional, and financial. All three of those things work together to help us give the life that we want, and that we’ve created a vision of what we want, and we have to have a balance of all three of those things in order to truly be happy.
CHRIS COX: Yeah, for sure. And that’s just one way to split those up and categorize those. You can categorize them however you want, but that’s a simple way to think about it. You’ve got those professional goals, the ones that you’re going to be looking at as far as your career goes and what you want to do with your career and your degree. Of course, those personal ones are the ones like being healthy and being fit, or even something like buying a house or something like that.
And of course with financial, financial is kind of along the same lines with wanting to pay off your student loans, wanting to save up for a new car, any of those things. And a lot of those can overlap for sure, but when you’re thinking about it, it makes it easy to categorize out your goals and then assign maybe like the top three or four of them to really start focusing on under each one. So maybe a total of nine or 10 total goals.
RILEY BASS: One of my always personal goals has been to have an outdoor TV in my backyard.
CHRIS COX: That’s amazing.
RILEY BASS: But I have to be able to afford to build a really awesome patio before I can do that, so that’s both a personal and financial goal. So there’s some overlap in between on some of those goals.
CHRIS COX: A TV. So let me ask you this, what would be your number one purpose for having a TV outside?
RILEY BASS: So I could watch baseball in my backyard.
CHRIS COX: OK, simple enough.
RILEY BASS: So I can watch baseball while I barbecue and enjoy the outdoors.
CHRIS COX: That’s a good goal to have, why not, right? Very good. And that just shows you that your goals can be whatever you want them to be, as long as they’re something that’s attainable. And that gets you into the next part of this. Once you’ve got your PPFs down, how now do we get to the point to where we can actually realize them?
RILEY BASS: Well, we would never want anybody to have any dumb goals, so we’re going to have smart goals.
CHRIS COX: That’s right, smart.
RILEY BASS: And when I say making your goals SMART, I mean that as an acronym.
CHRIS COX: That acronym means? Think about it, S-M-A-R-T. I actually had to think about it before I started saying it because I was going to screw it up. So S is for specific. M is for measurable. A is for attainable. R is for–
RILEY BASS: Relevant.
CHRIS COX: Thank you. And T is for time bound. So let’s break those down a little bit. Specific. You want to be as specific as possible with this. Let me use an example of losing weight for example. That’s a really good one. Being specific isn’t I want to lose weight. That’s very general. You want to be real specific with what that goal is. I want to lose 30 pounds, I want to lose 100 pounds, whatever that is.
Being very specific about it allows you to see that this has something that is measurable, which is the second one. You want to be able to measure that. You want to be able to tell if you’ve got progress. If you’ve made progress on that goal.
RILEY BASS: Right. There’s something satisfying about making a check mark, and you have to be able to give yourself some sort of metric to tell whether or not you’ve been able to accomplish it or not.
CHRIS COX: Right.
RILEY BASS: Attainable. You want to make sure that it’s something you can actually do. You know, it would be awesome to go to Mars, but is that really something that is going to be possible in our lifetime? Maybe, I don’t know. Am I personally going to attain it? Maybe not. Maybe I should just shoot to tour the NASA center, the Space Center and call that as good. Or watch the movie The Martian. That’s as close as I’m going to get.
All jokes aside, you get what I mean. You want to make your goals attainable. It might be a little bit of a stretch to say, I want to graduate with my AUD degree and immediately buy a practice. Something like that may be a little bit difficult, whereas you say, I want to buy a practice within five years of graduating.
RILEY BASS: Yeah for sure. As far as making it relevant, you want to make it something that’s related to what you want to do. I went to AUD school and, I want to be a neurosurgeon. OK, well maybe we need to rethink our goal set altogether, because you went to AUD school, not MD or medical school to get your MD. So think about it as being relevant to the rest of what you’re trying to do in your life.
RILEY BASS: I was hoping you were going to call it neurosurgery school.
CHRIS COX: Could be, yeah. So if you do go to neurosurgery school, it would take a really short bus to get there, because not a lot of people do it.
RILEY BASS: T is for time bound. But you have to give yourself a time approximation of when you want to achieve this goal. If you just say I want to lose 30 pounds. Well, when do you want to do it? Do you want to do it next month, next year? In the next five years? Indefinitely? Giving yourself a date that you want to achieve something helps you see that deadline. And as students, you’re all familiar with working on a deadline, and you know the closer you get to that deadline, the harder you’re going to work to make sure that you finish your work or finish reaching that goal.
So giving yourself that strict deadline is going to help you in the long run, making sure that you’re staying on track to complete your goal in a reasonable amount of time.
CHRIS COX: Yeah, for sure. So it’s a lot easier said than done. And that’s where a lot of people kind of fall apart at this point, is there are the strategies for SMART and creating a SMART goal, but when it comes down to it and you have to sit and think about your goals and really just reflect on yourself, some people just don’t have the time for that or they don’t feel like they have the time for that. And so they just kind of push it off to the side.
And I hope that you students that are listening really consider at least to create a couple of goals, and under each of them at least one professional goal or one personal goal that you can start to develop out into a SMART goal. That will let you see the power of having that written down and having it in front of you and actually creating a plan for yourself.
There’s another method of doing that where you have your vision of where you want to be, set your goal of what you want to do to get there, and then you can create objectives underneath each of those. And underneath each objective, you create an action item. And before you know it, the goal becomes just a big to-do list, a nested to-do list where you can get this done, and that rolls up into the next one, rolls up to the next. And pretty soon, you’ve got that goal checked off. And that’s another good strategy for getting through and really get your goals down specific.
RILEY BASS: Right. And thinking about these goals and what you want to achieve with your career before you graduate will help you whenever you’re looking at that May graduation or August, or whenever you graduate. And that job search, and looking and saying what job is the right one for me? Do I want a job where I can do something, or do I want the job that’s going to help me best achieve my long term goals? And knowing what your long term goals are is going to help you figure that out a lot quicker.
CHRIS COX: So when you think about that transition, going from working off a syllabus to going and working off of whatever you’ve designed for yourself and the career that you’ve chosen, what does that look like? And it’s like I said, it’s a really tough thing to start developing, but once you do, then the choices that are in front of you, the choices that are presented to you as far as job opportunities are going to really start filtering themselves out.
When you don’t have your goals, and as you said before from the quote from the book, if you don’t have those goals, then you may end up somewhere where you don’t want to be. But if you know for sure that this is where you want to be, this is what you want to do and in five years you want to be here, whenever you’re given a job opportunity, you can look at that and think OK, is this going to get me closer to my goals or farther away from my goals?
And the cool thing is that we’re probably going to spend some time on that as well in an upcoming podcast. So I’m looking and evaluating the opportunities that are presented to yourself in your career. And the key things to look at. But for now, the important thing to do is to get those goals lined out for yourself. Understand what you want and where you want to go first. And then you can make those decisions.
You know, I’ve heard that we’re not supposed to share our goals. We’re not supposed to say them out loud. We’re not supposed to blab them to everybody, because it reduces the power of those goals. And I think there is some truth to that for sure. My belief and my thought on that when I read about that– because I’ve seen that go around lately– my thought on that is that yes, if you just tell everybody in the world about what’s going on, I’m going to go run a marathon. Yeah, that kind of reduces what they say is in your mind, you feel like you’ve already accomplished it.
What I say to that is if you’ve got your goals set and you know where you want to go, you tell them to the people that are important to you. People that are around you, the people that can help support you through that. And kind of keep you held accountable. And you ask them for that. That could be a coworker, that could be a boss. That could be your friends. That could be your spouse.
But by sharing those well-developed goals out loud. And like I say, they’ve got to be well-developed. By sharing those well-developed goals loud to specific strategic people, that can really go very far to help you achieve those goals because of the support system that it creates for that goal.
RILEY BASS: Right, absolutely. A good example of that, we share an office. There are seven of us that share a pretty good sized room. And when we all moved into that room, we talked about our goals and what we were trying to achieve with our PPFs. And one of the things that literally every single person in the room said is that they wanted to have a healthy lifestyle. And they were working on getting in shape and eating healthy.
And so when we sort of met about what we wanted the culture of the room to be, we agreed that we would not bring in tempting, unhealthy snacks like donuts and cookies and stuff. And there’s obviously exceptions for things like birthdays and special occasions. But if we’re going to bring in snacks to share with the room, we want them to be healthy snacks like veggie trays and fruit trays. And we’ve all done a really good job of respecting each other’s wishes, because we all have the same goal that we’re working towards. And if we didn’t share that goal, then somebody would bring in a donut. And no matter how hard you’re trying to be healthy, like if there’s a really delicious looking donut sitting behind you–
CHRIS COX: I’m going to eat it.
RILEY BASS: It’s pretty hard to say no.
CHRIS COX: I love donuts.
RILEY BASS: So I think there’s definitely some value in talking about your goals and talking about them to your small group circle that you’re close with, and those people that are going to help you be accountable for what you’re trying to achieve.
CHRIS COX: Yeah, for sure. So let’s look back at what we’ve talked about today, just briefly about goals. Having goals are important. Getting them set now as a student before you get out and get into your career is very important. Separate those goals out into those PPFs, those professional, personal, and financial goals. Get a few underneath each of those. And as you do that, set them as SMART goals. And make sure that you’ve got them very specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time bound.
And don’t be afraid to share them with the people around you that can be a support group for you, because they’re the ones that are rooting for you. They’re the ones that want you to succeed. And so don’t be afraid to share with them.
RILEY BASS: I’d like to leave you guys with one more quote from Robert Anthony’s Beyond Positive Thinking. “Goals are not promises, but commitments. They are not wishes but visions. We do not hope our dreams are going to find us, we find them. Goals don’t start in our brain, they start in our heart.” So look into your heart, figure out what you want to achieve with your career, with your life, and write it down and make a plan. And make sure that you carry out that plan.
CHRIS COX: I love it. Thanks for listening, guys. This is Chris and Riley.
RILEY BASS: And one of our goals is that we have a lot of subscribers to this podcast, so help us make her goal come true and subscribe.
CHRIS COX: I don’t think that was SMART. We need to go back and do SMART.
RILEY BASS: Next time, we will present the same goal to you in SMART format, we promise. But until then, please subscribe, please like us, please share this podcast with your friends. If you want to get a hold of us, @rileyb659.
CHRIS COX: @coxchriscox on Twitter.
RILEY BASS: On Twitter, and you can always find us on Instagram or on Facebook, Audigy University @audigyu or at v_podcast, spelled the way you see it in the graphic.
CHRIS COX: Awesome, see you guys later.
RILEY BASS: Bye.