It's the New Year and we set resolutions or goals for ourselves to achieve throughout the coming year and some are reached, most are not. Why do we set our self up for failure year after year? What are we doing wrong? Why set these goals at all? Let's talk SMART.
S.M.A.R.T. is a great way to set your goals and keep them.
- S = Specific
- M = Measurable
- A = Attainable
- R = Realistic
- T = Timely
This should be very straightforward and explain what kind of outcome you are trying to achieve. Be clear about the What's, Why's and How's you are going to accomplish these goals. Make sure they are very specific, clear and easy.
Instead of setting a goal to lose weight, be more specific and set a goal to take an inch off your waistline.
Choose a goal that you will definitely see end results. If you can't measure it, you can't manage it. Once a goal is accomplished there is a feeling of success and a sense of achievement. There can be several short-term or small measurements put into your goal. When measuring your progress you tend to stay on track better, reach your target dates and feel fulfilled with your continued effort required to reach your goals.
Instead of setting a goal to finish something, set smaller goals that will eventually get you to your main goal.
When setting your goals, figure out ways that you can make them come true. Develop your attitude, ability, skill, and a financial plan to achieve your goal. It will be more difficult to commit to goals which are out of your reach. You may start with the best intentions but knowing that it is too much to handle your psyche will keep reminding you of this fact and will stop you from giving it your best.
Goals need to stretch slightly so you feel that you can really do it and it needs a real commitment from you. For instance set your goal to lose 1 pound a week, not 20 pounds in one week. 20 is unrealistic and unhealthy. The feeling of accomplishment you receive will keep you motivated.
This does not mean "easy" it means "doable". A realistic project may push your skills and knowledge of your particular goal but it shouldn't break you. Make a plan and a realistic way of getting there. If you are an avid coffee drinker and drink a pot a day and want to cut back or stop drinking coffee, instead of stop drinking all together maybe limit yourself to 2 cups a day and fulfill the rest with water.
Be sure that your goals are attainable but with some effort. If your goals are too high you are setting yourself up for failure and if your goals are too low you are sending the message that you are not capable of doing more. You need to set your goals high enough for achievement.
Make sure that you have a timeframe set up: next week, next month, by the time you turn a certain age. When you put an ending time on your goals it gives you a clearer target to work toward. Not setting a timeframe means the commitment is too vague and it will make you feel that you can start at anytime and there is no urgency to make a commitment.
Have a safe, healthy and SMART 2008.