Let's be honest... you've made and failed to follow through on COUNTLESS new year's resolutions. If you're like me and most other people you've promised to lose weight, get in shape, save money, pay off debt, travel, etc. all at the start of the new year, only to find December 31st suddenly upon you and nothing crossed off your list.
So why does this happen to so many of us? Because we make resolutions instead of setting goals and objectives and creating a system for tracking progress. It may be en vogue to proclaim a resolution or 5 every year, but if it doesn't come with a plan you're sunk.
The answer? This year, focus on creating SMART goals. Below I've outlined some examples to help illustrate each letter and what it really means.
You may have heard this before, but chances are you aren't actually doing it. Here's what a S.M.A.R.T. goal is... Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timebound (there are a few variations on what the letters stand for, but they are all about the same).
Specific is "I will achieve and maintain a 28" waistline" or "I will pay off all $5,127 on my credit card". Vague is making goals like "I will lose weight" or "I will pay off my debt". There are still a lot of questions I need clarified to really know what you're talking about.
Measurable typically means a number. If I know I'm starting at one weight and want t lose 20 pounds, it's easy for me to measure my progress. With goals like "I will improve my relationship with my family" require some specifics and a chosen system of measure. For this you could say "I will call my parents at least 2 times every month" so that every month you can track whether or not you've met your goal.
I think we should all reach for the moon, but to be truly successful with goal setting, they need to be within the realm of possible. Could you become a millionaire in 1 year, absolutely, but if you're starting at broke and don't have more of a game plan than playing the lottery weekly, it's probably a goal that will set you up for failure.
Not sure what's attainable? Ask people who have already achieved what you want to achieve! If you want to run a marathon but can't run a 5k without stopping yet, talk to someone who's been at both levels and get their advice on how long it would take to build up the endurance so you schedule a marathon at an appropriate time.
R has two meanings...
(1) If you're breaking down goals by categories such as work, family, social, monetary, health, etc. each goal within the category should be relevant (e.g. you wouldn't set the goal of "Spend more time golfing with co-workers" in the family category)
(2) If the goal is something you feel like you're SUPPOSED to set, but not something that feels personally relevant to you, your life, and what you want to achieve, you'll most likely fail at it. For example, I have thought for years about doing a Figure Competition, which realistically I could do within a calendar year, but the sacrifices to pleasure foods, time, and a social life just aren't in line with where I want my life to be right now. So it's a silly goal to set when I'm not ready for it.
Put a date on it! And remember, you're setting goals for an entire year, so look at shorter term and longer term goals.
Maybe you want to lose 10 pounds by March for that cruise you're going on, pay off all of your credit card debt by September, and have found a new job by December. Great! Put dates on each goal so you know if you're making appropriate progress at any point in the year.
A little bit more...
You can be very successful with the information above, but I've found there are a few extra steps worth taking to help you really hit the mark.
Here are some bonus steps to take to help you really knock 2016 out of the park!
Need some additional help with goal setting? I would LOVE to work with you on it! Just connect with me on Facebook or email (below) and send me a message!
lover of fitness, sweets, veggies, adventure, travel, and feeling confident.
If you want something you've never had, you must be willing to do something you've never done. - Thomas Jefferson