Goal setting, very important for achieving results, and there are many approaches. I am going to share an approach that has always worked well for me, as always read on if you’ve got 10 minutes:
Start with why: Goals are great, but for you to see through accomplishment, you need a compelling reason why. If your goal is “to lose some weight” and your reason why is “my doctor said I should”, what do you think the chances are you will see it through? You get the idea…so start with why, take as much time as you need on this topic because without it, goals and methods lead to you spinning your wheels. Your goal (and related reason why) should be so exciting to you that you think about it when you first wake up in the morning, and all throughout the day as well.
Got it yet? Good, now let’s talk details. Going back to my previous example, “I want to lose some weight” is a great starting point for a goal, we just need to tighten it up a little. Many of you have seen the SMART Goals acronym in some form, here it is just in case:
Using the example of losing weight, with a compelling reason why. Let’s walk through our check list:
Specific? Not really, let’s add some detail to make it specific:
– How much weight do I want to lose? 20 pounds.
– In what time frame do I want to accomplish this goal? 3 months
Measurable? Yes, losing weight is a very measurable outcome, once you have the specifics down.
Attainable? Sure, losing weight is a very attainable goal, read on for important details.
Realistic? This part is very important for many goals, let’s look at the weight loss example. Is losing 20 pounds in 3 months an attainable, realistic goal? That depends:
– Have you been cleared by your physician to make life style changes needed to accomplish this goal? If not, start there.
– Have you been advised by a medical professional that you are currently overweight, and losing 20 pounds is a good goal (or starting point)?
– Do you have the resources and knowledge at your disposal to make the changes you will need to your diet (what you eat) and physical activity/exercise to meet this goal?
Trackable? Yes, absolutely. When tracking a goal, you want to be able to keep a journal/log of your progress.
– If your goal does not meet the previous criteria, it is not likely to be trackable.
If your goal passes through these measurements, you are much more likely to be able to follow through and achieve it. An example of a goal which would not pass muster (or would need more refining) would be something like “I want to feel better.” Better than what, by what measurements, by what date??? You get the idea… Another thing on a goals, in addition to a compelling reason why you want to accomplish a goal, a goal should challenge you. If your “goal” is something you have a near 100% chance of accomplishing and is essentially a given, why bother considering it a goal?
What are some of your goals anyone care to share? Anyone have a goal you’d like to get some feedback on? Currently, my goal is to build/re-establish a weekly routine for myself when it comes to exercise…admittedly this has been a weak point and much more variable than I prefer since becoming a parent. No excuses here mind you, I fully realize that I need to take my own advice and get specific on what I mean by “routine”. That leads into another great topic, accountability…more to come later, thanks for stopping in!