How To Make Your Goals Smart!

SMART GoalsIf you've followed me for any length of time, you know I set goals, and I set some pretty big ones! Now, I'm not going to say I achieve all of my goals; if I did, I wouldn't be setting my goals big enough! But the main thing that helps me achieve the goals I set is that I make them SMART goals! But, what are SMART goals? Let's look at what SMART means.

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S = Specific

The first step in setting your goal is to be as specific as possible. Rather than saying, “I want to lose weight!” Say, “I want to lose 50 pounds by the end of 2020. I will do this by keeping a food diary and eating whole foods!” Some questions to ask yourself when setting your goals are:

  • What exactly do you want to achieve? The more details you write, the better the goal!
  • Where will you achieve this goal? At the gym, in the kitchen, or maybe just on Earth!
  • How will you achieve this goal? You don't need a lot of detail, but having the first step can help. Ask yourself, “What can I do right now with what I have!”
  • When will you achieve this goal? And be specific with a date. Don't use terms like “in 4 weeks” or “by the end of the month”
  • If appropriate, with whom will you achieve this goal?
  • Why do I want this goal? Strong whys are a huge help in goal achieving!

M = Measurable

With this step, you state exactly what you will see, feel, and hear when you reach your goal. You have to break your goal down into elements you can measure. And you'll want to concentrate on evidence that is concrete! Being happier is not evidence; not smoking anymore because you are sticking to a healthy lifestyle where you eat vegetables twice a day and red meat once a week is. Measurable goals can go a long way in refining what exactly it is that you want, too. Defining the physical manifestations of your goal or objective makes it clearer and easier to reach.

A = Attainable

You need to decide for yourself if your goal is truly attainable. You have to weigh the effort, time, and other costs your goal will take against what you will gain from obtaining it. Do you have the time, money, and talent to reach your goal; if you don't, you're bound to fail and it may be time to break this goal down into something smaller (for now).

Reaching for the stars isn't a bad thing. If you want to increase your mile pace from your current 15:00 Minute Mile (MM) to a 12:00 MM in the next year, but you only get it down to 12:30 MM, it isn't all that bad! But if you want to get it down to a 6:00 MM, that may just be pushing a little too hard in 12 months. That's when you should aim for a 12:00 MM or change your timeline to 36 months.

R = Relevant

This step goes back to your “Why!” Why do you want this goal? What makes this goal so important to you? Is running a 6:00 MM that important, or would you be happy with an 8:00 MM? You have to decide for yourself if you have the personality for the goal and do you have the support network to achieve it? If you lack certain skills, you can always take training. If you lack certain resources, you can look for them and find ways of getting them.

T = Time-Bound

As they say, “Time is money!” Most of us are driven by deadlines; when we set a deadline, we jump into action. So, set due dates for your goals. But, remember to keep these dates realistic and flexible. I often suggest people set goals for the month, quarter, year and then 3-5 years out. While these goals will change and due dates will slip, sometimes you can bring the dates in earlier. But, with long-range goals like this, you can make sure you're always working towards your ultimate goal!

In Closing…

Kicking up your SMART goals to be even smarter, the way you state them is important. Always state your goals as a positive goal! Don't state a goal as something you're not going to do, but rather what you will do. Remember that what you focus on is what increases. So when you focus on NOT doing something, all you think about is that thing your not supposed to be doing and it will increase.

Do you need help in setting goals? That's what a strategy session is designed to help with! Plus, it's free! So click here and sign up for a one, and we'll spend about 30-minutes talking about your goals and how to set them!

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