Every year we write down goals that we have for the New Year. Our intentions are genuine, and we have every intention to accomplish those goals. Generally, these are habits that we try to do every day or bad habits we wish to stop doing. For many of us, unfortunately, these goals are forgotten after only a few short months.
There are many reasons why this happens. There are life events that throw us off track, laziness or sometimes the goals that we have set are unattainable due to them being unrealistic.
When setting goals, it’s wise to use the S.M.A.R.T method:
Specific: When setting goals, it’s important to set a specific goal rather than a general goal. In order to set a specific goal, you must answer the six “W” questions.
Who: Who is involved?
What: What is it that I wish to accomplish?
Where: Identify a location.
When: Establish a realistic time frame.
Which: Identify requirements and constraints.
Why: Identify specific reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing the goal
Example of a Specific Goal: Instead of saying “Get Fit”, say “I’d like to join a health club, work out 3-4 times a week and lose 10 pounds”.
Measurable – It’s important to establish criteria for measuring the progress you’re making towards each goal you set.
When measuring your goal, you’re much more likely to stay on track, hit your target dates and experience a huge sense of achievement hitting each milestone. This will help your continued effort and motivation for reaching your goals.
When determining whether or not your goals are measurable, ask yourself these questions…
How much? How many? How will I know when I have accomplished my goal?
Attainable – When identifying your goals, you start to visualize ways in which to achieve them. You get motivated and pumped up! Little do you know that you have the attitude to accomplish them, the abilities to achieve them, the skills and usually the finances to accomplish those goals already. You just have to visualize it put effort forward to achieve them.
You are able to attain most goals you set when you plan you steps carefully and assign a time frame that allows you to carry out the steps you have defined. You will see that the goals you thought were so far away from achieving get closer and closer to being attained. When you work at building yourself up you start to see that you are indeed worthy of the goals you have set. When you do this, you then develop the personality and traits that allow you to embrace them.
Realistic– For a goal to be realistic, the goal or goals much represent a clear objective which you are willing and able to work towards. You are the only one who can decide how high you set your goals. Make sure that every goal represents significant progress.
Keep in mind that when you set a high goal, it actually keeps you more motivated than setting a smaller goal because the lower the goal, the less motivation you exert towards accomplishing it.
Timely – Each and every goal that you set should also come with a time frame. When there is no time frame attached to a goal, there is no sense of urgency. If you say you want to lose 20 pounds… when do you want to lose it by? When anchored with a time frame, you then put it all in motion and start working towards achieving that goal.
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With only a few days left in 2015, sit down in your comfy clothes with your favorite beverage (mine is a peppermint non-fat mocha, no-whip from Starbucks), grab some paper and a pen and get working on setting those goals.
Make 2016 your best year yet!
Picture Credit: David Pacey