Have you ever set a goal or resolution to be healthier or lose weight?
Experts agree that there is a major difference between those who achieve and those who do not. That difference is setting specific goals and writing them down. So if you’ve ever taken that first step, you should pat yourself on the back. Recognize that you’re in a small percentage of people who not only want to achieve excellence, but make plans to do it.
Many of us though have fell short on our goals for several reasons.The most common reasons that people don’t achieve their goals is they do not make their goals specific enough. Another reason is they don’t write them out.
I am going to walk you through a process that will easily allow you to set SMART GOALS. This is a simple five step process using the letters S-M-A-R-T to formulate a more specific goal .
This is a process that many people and organizations have used to help increase the level of their achievements.
To illustrate how this works let’s begin with a common goal that I often hear. It goes something like “I want to lose weight” or “I want to be thinner”. This is a noble and ambitious goal. Now let’s make it a SMART GOAL.
Let’s start with the letter S which stands for Specific. How specific is the goal?
“I want to lose weight” doesn’t even give us a specific amount of weight that we want to lose. At this stage most people haven’t even written down the goal yet.
So let’s write this goal more specific. Choose a specific weight goal such as I want to lose 30 pounds. If you don’t like the scales you could say I want to comfortably wear old clothes again. This is now a more specific goal.
Next is the letter M for Measurable. Losing 30 pounds or fitting comfortably into clothes I wore 5 years ago is definitely measurable . If your goal is for better blood sugar or blood pressure, remember to set a specific number.
The letter A stands for Achievable or Attainable. Do you believe that you can achieve this goal?
Without this vital element , it may be very difficult to reach this goal because you do not have the personal belief that you can reach it. If this is the case adjust the goal to something you can know you can achieve. Now, build on the momentum of that achieved goal to set the next.
The R stands for Relevant. Is this goal Relevant and does it relate to you?
Do you want to lose 30 pounds because that’s what all your friends are doing? Do you even have 30 pounds to lose? Find a way to make your goal relevant to your life. If it’s not, review what you’re really working towards and write a new goal.
The last letter T is for Time Specific. It is vital to set a specific time or date that you want to achieve your goal by.
Some say “ Goals are just dreams with deadlines.”
Original goal – I want to lose weight
New SMART GOAL – I want to lose 30 pounds over the next four months.
It is now specific, measurable , achievable, relevant/relative and time sensitive.
This tool for goal setting is not only useful for achieving your health goals. It is also very useful for achieving financial, career and other personal goals.
In the beginning stages, be gentle with yourself. Many of us miss the mark in the early stages, especially when just starting. Sometimes we are hard and judgmental on ourselves. That can cause us to give up on our goal early. This can even create a negative association with goal setting in general. Then, next time you set a new goal, it won’t be any easier.
Could you imagine if you were that hard on yourself when you were a toddler learning to walk? Thankfully, you weren’t and your mother wasn’t either and you kept on falling down, and getting back up and trying again. Eventually you did it. Now it is time to get on a pen a paper start setting your own smart goals today.