Setting S.M.A.R.T.er Goals!

Have you ever made a really ambitious goal only to have it fall flat after a couple of months. Or heck, even after a couple of days or weeks? It’s frustrating when at first you’re all pumped up about something and then are left feeling like the goal is impossible, too hard, or that you’ve set yourself up for failure. I have definitely felt like this. And the problem for me was that I didn’t know how to set the right kind of goals. No one likes to fail. No one wants to be disappointed in themselves. So, that being said, today we’re going to talk about SMART goals and how to set them.

A few years ago I discovered there is a BIG difference between having actual GOALS — vs — having DREAMS. We ALL have dreams of how life COULD be, or at least what we do NOT want… but come to find out, not many people have GOALS – at least not in the way I am going to teach you today!

DREAMS are a fantasy of what life could be like. GOALS are your ROADMAP to making that FANTASY your REALITY!

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First, I want to show you what the typical person’s goals look like:

  • “I want to get in the best shape of my life”
  • “I want to get out of debt”
  • “I want to be successful”

There is nothing wrong with wanting those things — but there are some KEY components missing to take it from DREAM to SMART GOAL!

Let’s go with #1: “I want to get in the best shape of my life”

S: SPECIFIC – Eh, not really! What are we basing that off of exactly? What does being in the “best shape of your life” look like? Is it fitting into your size 4 jeans from high school? Losing a specific amount of weight? Getting back into your wedding dress? OR is it more of a physical ability thing? Run a half marathon? Do an Insanity workout without 1 break?

M: MEASURABLE? Is it something that you can measure your progress against?  For instance, would an outsider be able to evaluate whether or not you achieved your goal, beyond simply taking your word for it? If your REAL goal was actually to fit back into your size 4 jeans from high school, you would most definitely be able to measure your progress as your jean size decreased over time — until the point you slide those bad boys on!

A: ACHIEVABLE? It’s one thing to DREAM BIG — and quite another to dream outside the realm of possibility! One VERY important thing to consider is IF your goal is realistic and achievable. Setting a goal to lose 18bs in two weeks for instance… certainly POSSIBLE if you completely  starve yourself – but that will NOT set you up for long-term success and will inevitably wreck havoc on your body and metabolism!  If it’s 18lbs you want to lose… aim to lose between 2-4lbs a week.  (Therefore if you averaged 3lbs per week, it would take approx. 6 weeks to reach your goal.)

R: REWARDING? You’ll need to exercise a degree of willpower and make sacrifices in the pursuit of your goals!— Laying out WHY that goal is important to you and what kind of REWARD it will have in your life is JUST AS IMPORTANT as the goal itself… because that REWARD is what will keep REMINDING you of WHY the short-term sacrifices are WORTH WHILE! {I like to use visual aides such as a VISION BOARD with pictures of what life is like when I achieve my goal(s) – I mean — Just THINK of the cute jeans you can rock when you hit that goal!

T: TIME-SENSITIVELet’s get real here: There are 7 days in a week… and “SOMEDAY” is not one of them! If you want to achieve your goals, ya gotta have a DEADLINE! When we have a specific date set to achieve something we become more focused and  make our goals a priority! Life gets BUSY and it can slip right by you if you let it! Write down your goals and put a DATE on it!

So if your goal was weight loss your SMART goal would look something like this: “I want to WILL lose 10 pounds on or before July 1 because I want to look and feel incredible at my 20 year high school reunion.” (or because I want to run a 5k with my daughter…whatever your motivation (aka Reward) is!)

Then, you should figure out your road map: how are you going to make sure you’ll lose those 10 pounds? What kind of exercise will you do? How often will you do it? What will you eat? And remember, starving yourself is not an option. Use the time you’re focusing on losing those 10 lbs (or whatever it is) to learn some healthy clean eating and exercise habits. Otherwise that weight will just come right back!

And remember this principle of setting SMART goals applies to other areas of your life too. Personally, I like to set 1 SMART goal in each of the following areas: Physical, Mental, and Spiritual. I’ll work on all three at once and as soon as I crush one, I set a new one! Accomplishing goals is such an amazing feeling!

I really want to hear what SMART goal you’re going to work on next. Post a comment here or on the facebook thread and let me know! Because telling another person your SMART goal is another way to ensure follow through and we want everyone to be successful!

Need some additional support accomplishing your goals?  My support groups are the best! Message me via my facebook page and I can help you out!

takethestep

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