Bet you’ve heard over and over and over again how important it is to set goals in your life. It’s all the buzz right now and with good reason. It’s great advice. However, most of us have no idea how to go about setting a goal that we have a chance of actually achieving.
Here’s a template for SMART goals you can use to help set yourself up for success:
Make sure you word every goal so that it includes the following components:
S – Be as specific and detailed as possible.
M – Make sure it’s something you can tangibly measure so that you know when you’ve reached it.
A – It needs to be something you can realistically reach or attain.
R – It has to be meaningful and relevant to you.
T – Including a time-frame will keep you from procrastinating.
When setting goals, it’s important to have an overall ‘big picture’ goal. However, to increase your chances of meeting that goal, you need to break your overall goal into lots of little goals. In essence, creating the stepping stones to your ultimate destination. If all you have is your ‘big picture’ goal, you’ll never get there.
Your big goal and all of your baby-step goals can be in the SMART goal format.
Here’s an example:
Big Picture Goal: I want to lose 20 pounds by my daughter’s wedding in 6 months on July 14th so that I can wear my favorite lavender dress with my yummy matching lavender heels that make me feel like a million bucks.
Is this goal specific? Check! How about measurable? Check! 20 pounds in 6 months is measurable. Attainable? Check! 20 pounds in 6 months definitely seems reasonable. Is it relevant? Check! Seems pretty important to her for all the right reasons. Is there a time focus? Check! 6 months.
Short-term or Baby-step Goals: (Set one at a time… when you meet one, set another one… continue the cycle)
#1: I will lose one pound by next Monday (one week from today) by walking at least 6 days for a minimum of 15 minutes and by eating one more serving of vegetables than I normally do per day.
The next one could be:
#2: I will lose another pound by next Monday (one week from today) by increasing my walking time to 20 minutes a day for 6 days and by drinking an additional glass of water every day.
Then, next Monday, set another one:
#3: I will lose another pound by next Monday (one week from today) by choosing chicken over red meat at least twice this week and grilling it instead of pan frying it.
Keep setting yourself up for success! Each and every baby-step you take gets you closer and closer to your goal!
And don’t forget to reward yourself! This is just as important a step as the S, M, A, R, and T!
Nothing big but definitely something that feels good and makes you happy! Your reward can be anything at all. Some alone time, getting lost in a juicy new novel for an hour, a hot bath, 20 minutes of un-disturbed crafting, patting yourself on the back, giving yourself a smiley on your calendar, a Hershey’s kiss, a long talk with an old friend, an extra long walk with your dog or an extra long snuggle with your kitty… anything that brings a smile to your face!
Try setting a SMART goal today! It’s a great habit to start! Once you’re on your way, the world truly is your oyster!