Being S.M.A.R.T. with Goal 2: Completing the Certified Public Manager® Program

by Jennifer Haynie @JenniferHaynie1

My second goal I want to complete as part of my jubilee year is to complete the Certified Public Manager® (CPM) Program. This is a national certification program for federal, state, local, and tribal governments and is offered by the State of North Carolina to its middle managers and program managers.

To graduate from the 14-month program requires at least the following:

  • 200 hours of in-class work
  • 116 hours of out-of-class work
  • Completion of a CPM project

As you can see, this is a lot of hours that are on top of my regular job duties and would equate to half of a master’s degree if I chose to pursue one. The CPM Program is a tough program. Before I applied, I devoted a lot of time to prayer and thought related to it. But was it a goal that was S.M.A.R.T.?

Specific. I want to graduate from the CPM program in October. Along the way, there are several other milestones to hit. For example, later this week, I enter Round 3 of classroom training, which requires me to be free of the daily duties associated with my job. Along with the classroom hours, there’s a series of pre- and post-class hours to be completed. Finally, there’s the CPM project with its own set of milestones.

Measurable. Is this goal measurable? Absolutely. To graduate, I have to complete all of the milestones. The CPM project proposal and paper must be approved as well. This ensures the CPM Program faculty that I’ve attained the knowledge I need to graduate.

Attainable. I can reach the goal if I’m willing to put in the work. It’s extra work, but I’m finding it rewarding as I learn more about myself, management skills, and relational skills. It’s exciting. It’s humbling. And yes, at times, it can be a little intimidating.

Relevant. I’d been wanting to enroll in the CPM Program for years, but I knew it would be a lot of work outside of my regular duties. I prayed about it because I have a lot of responsibilities both at work and outside of work. Until this year, the timing never seemed quite right. About this time last year, I felt God telling me it was time. I’m having to be very efficient with my time management this year, but the work for my day job, this program, and outside of my day job is getting done bit by bit.

Time-bound. I absolutely have deadlines related to the CPM program. The first deadline is the big one—actually completing everything by June 1. Along the way, the program faculty have laid out several other deadlines to keep us on track.

The CPM Program is a lot of work. I’m learning a lot. A whole lot. It’s keeping me busy. I’m having to stay focused right now. It’s keeping me organized. If you have a big project, be S.M.A.R.T. about your goals, and you too will accomplish them.

Being S.M.A.R.T. about working through the Certified Public Manager® has shown me that I can accomplish a huge project if I’m organized and efficient. #Authenticity #encouragement Click To Tweet

Question: What is a big project you did in high school, college, or graduate school that required a lot of time and effort? How did you feel when you finished it?

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