My Not So Specific SMART Goals

Its only fitting that I set some SMART goals for myself while I am posted in Italy for the next four months. As a bonfide member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity — I’m all about SMART goals.

In case you were wondering what a SMART goal is, here’s a quick review (from Wikipedia):

S Specific Significant, Stretching, Simple
M Measurable Motivational, Manageable, Meaningful
A Attainable Appropriate, Achievable, Agreed, Assignable, Actionable, Adjustable, Ambitious, Aligned, Aspirational, Acceptable, Action-focused
R Relevant Result-Based, Results-oriented, Resourced, Resonant, Realistic
T Timely Time-oriented, Time framed, Timed, Time-based, Time-bound, Time-Specific, Timetabled, Time limited, Trackable, Tangible
E Evaluate Ethical, Excitable, Enjoyable, Engaging, Ecological
R Reevaluate Rewarded, Reassess, Revisit, Recordable, Rewarding, Reaching
S Satisfactory Satisfies Strategic Vision

I took the past week to think about what my goals were for the next four months and came up with these five:1. Increase Proficiency in Italian through self-study and reflection. I said yesterday that I was dropping Intermediate Italian in favor of learning more about Italian myself. Today I worked on my pronunciation and reading through Rosetta Stone and notes from my previous classes.

2. Read up on Italian history. Today I went to Modern Italian History with an open mind. I thought about taking the course (and the readings that went along with it), but after today, I decided on downloading a book titled, Pursuit of Italy by David Gilmour. I wanted a book that would satisfy my desire to learn about Italian History on my own terms without all the extra readings and homework — after all, I want to take it easy this semester. Here’s a little excerpt about the book:

The Pursuit of Italy traces the whole history of the Italian peninsula in a wonderfully readable style, full of well-chosen stories and observations from personal experience, and peopled by many of the great figures of the Italian past, from Cicero and Virgil to Dante and the Medici, from Cavour and Verdi to the controversial political figures of the twentieth century. The book gives a clear-eyed view of the Risorgimento, the pivotal event in modern Italian history, debunking the influential myths which have grown up around it. Gilmour shows that the glory of Italy has always lain in its regions, with their distinctive art, civic cultures, identities and cuisine and whose inhabitants identified themselves not as Italians, but as Tuscans and Venetians, Sicilians and Lombards, Neapolitans and Genoese. This is where the strength and culture of Italy still comes from, rather than from misconceived and mishandled concepts of nationalism and unity. This wise and enormously engaging book explains the course of Italian history in a manner and with a coherence which no one with an interest in the country could fail to enjoy.

3. Kick A** in my internship with the USAC program this semester. USAC offers its students the ability to do numerous projects ranging from education to journalism. I’ve decided that I’ll be writing articles for an Italian publication and snapping photographs for the same publication.

4. Find a Job in the media industry by the time I return from Italy. Being a second semester senior and job hunting from abroad is not a pleasant experience. Interviews are possible through Skype – but much harder with the geographical location being the biggest inhibitor of the process. Everything about looking for a job when you’re having the time of your life is depressing actually. I am having so much fun in Italy and I almost feel that it’s being spoiled by job hunting and personal goals.

5. Finish Coding my personal website and transfer content to it. When my computer crashed, so did my website and the coding that went along with it. So I have finally gotten my computer up and running, now all I need to do is the website and coding. Thanks to a recent logo redesign and color scheme, I think I am well on my way to accomplishing this goal. After all, I want to be done BEFORE I leave Italy in May.

There you have it. My not-so-specific-SMART-goals for the next four months. Stay tuned for pictures from Rome and a recap of my very first (but certainly not last) visit to Rome!

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