Have you heard of “smart” goals? If not, I’d like to explain how they can change your life.
Smart goals are:
Specific: You obviously must first set a goal, and not just a general one, a defined, singular goal. There’s a story I heard about someone who said they wanted money to constantly flow through their hands and they ended up being a bank teller, so be specific. If you want to lose weight; how much do you want to lose and in what manner? Do you want to burn fat to lose weight, add muscle to gain? Want to earn more money? Describe how much more and by what means.
Try this checklist:
- Who’s help will you need?
- What items or materials might you need?
- What might you have to sacrifice to achieve the goal?
- What steps will you need to take to get there?
In the absence of clearly-defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily trivia until ultimately we become enslaved by it.
Measurable: You have to have some way of tracking your progress. This will allow you to stay on track and prevent you from getting discouraged. Is the weight coming off slowly but surely? Are you writing that book or blog on a daily or weekly basis? Are you furthering your education with a goal in mind? Are you saving your money to start your own business? If so how much each week or month?
Create a check list and mark things off as you work towards your goal. This is a valuable tool, not only will it keep you focused, but it will make the goal seem less intimidating when it is broken into specific, measurable steps.
Progress lies not in enhancing what is, but in advancing toward what will be.
Ambitious: I have often seen the A in smart represented by the words Attainable or Achievable, but I feel that’s setting your sights too low. It’s easy to do something when you think you can, in fact you probably do that every day. That doesn’t push you beyond the norm. And if your current state was perfect for you, then why would you have more desires or goals?
Want to earn $50K? Make it $100K! Always wanted to write a book? Write a trilogy. You wouldn’t have the desire unless you could carry it out; so be ambitious, be bold and set your sights high.
The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.
Rewarding: Forget realistic goals (as some say the R stands for), instead focus on rewarding goals. Giving a child money to mow the lawn will get the job done but it won’t be very inspiring. That’s a realistic goal but where’s the real reward? Does a child grow when they begrudgingly do a task? Not usually. Write down all of the ways you as an adult will benefit when you achieve the goal. Also include how this goal will benefit those around you.
- Will it make you a better person?
- Will you be able to help people?
- Will you lead by example?
You might also want to write down how pursuing the goal will make you feel. Is there a sense of accomplishment along the way? A boost to your self esteem? Whatever the rewards are, write them down and read them every morning to keep you motivated. Coffee won’t get you out of bed like focusing on rewards will. Just think of the anticipation you felt (or feel) the day before a holiday, feel that excitement and give the gift to yourself every day, you deserve it.
And keep in mind, the journey is a large part of the reward and then the goal is an added bonus. You have to learn new things or become more disciplined to reach your goals and that means that you will grow as a person. You’ll then see it trickle into other areas of your life. Get the steps of the journey right and you’ll reach the goal every time.
For every disciplined effort there is a multiple reward.
Timed: This is simple. When do you want to reach your goal? Don’t make it someday, make it Sunday. If Sunday is too soon, then outline the steps it will take to achieve the goal and set a defined timeline. When you have a specific, measurable goal you can create a schedule of things you need to do on a daily basis to move you in the right direction.
Similar to how a GPS guides you along turn-by-turn with the estimated time of arrival shown in the upper corner; you can guide yourself, step by step towards these goals. Remember, these are your goals so you can move the time line forward or back as needed. Will it take a few more days or a month longer to finish? That’s fine. Don’t give up or get discouraged. Can you finish early if you push? Go for it!
A goal is a dream with a deadline.
Achieving your goals is entirely up to you. Other people may encourage you, but they will not do the planning for you and they will cannot do the work for you. If it will be, it’s up to thee.
So get started, get pumped and . . .
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined!
~Henry David Thoreau
Happy New Year! ; )=
Rock Star Certified Life Coach & Sales Trainer