How to Set Good SMART Goals

There’s nothing quite like having a goal in mind (ahem health and fitness I’ve got all my fingers totally pointing at me – ha) you can read all about that here. I don’t know about you but when I set out to accomplish a goal I get myself all fired up. I buy a new notebook and immediately start penning my goals. This is how you tell me that I am serious. (ha) The thing is, in my excitement I may set some pretty intense goals for myself.

No matter the desired end outcome (health, fitness, financial, housework, organisational, DIY projects, etc.) a goal is accomplished when a series of steps align and make things happen.

How annoying is it when you set a goal and you don’t accomplish the goal in the timeframe you thought it all should work out?

I know for me, it’s incredibly frustrating. My personality is very much “all or nothing” and up until now the idea of imperfect progress has really set my mind and goals into a whirlwind of expectations. I don’t mean to sound dramatic but seriously it’s like spinning on a merry go round (you know the one where you run as fast as possible and jump on and get really dizzy) with goldfish in a bowl… let’s just say it doesn’t exactly end well for the goldfish. (ha!)

How to Set Really Good Goals

(Maybe I should have labelled this section “How NOT to Set Really good Goals)

Time and time again, I set goals based on “what’s going on this month.” You know, “Ashley’s coming to town with my niece and new baby nephew. We have plans to go get cupcakes from Baked & Wired in Georgetown so I may as well NOT start that work out program. You know, that program that helps me get my diet in check (I’m looking at you Shift Shop, 21 Day Fix , 21 Day Fix Extreme and KETO) until after Ashley has come and gone…

It just so happens my niece was up all night and at the Doctor’s Office before 8am… she’s been sick since Friday.

Guys, she was sick and they were unable to come…

We’re going to have to get together soon.

I seriously wish that my blog had emoji’s because I’d insert the monkey with his eyes covered… I cannot even tell you how many times I’ve failed to even start toward my goals because the timing wasn’t convenient. You know, a visitor is coming, a planned vacation, a busy back to school season and this list could go on and on… I won’t bore you.

I feel so dumb even writing this because it is so evident that I’m constantly putting myself on the back burner. You know, for a more convenient time. So dumb.

What Are SMART Goals?

This is where the implementation of SMART goals come into play… and the whole purpose of this blog post. We all know I’m not so good with the follow through of my goals (you can read about that here). This whole sucking at goals thing is probably the main reason behind starting this blog… to help hold myself accountable and to find joy in my journey.

SMART goals are just as the name suggests… A way to accomplish a given goal the smart way. Maybe that was a bit too simplistic (ha!). SMART goals help break down goals to make them easier to accomplish. This method really focuses on helping people gain a perspective on their goal(s) by looking at several factors. Please allow me to explain.

THE ACRONYM FOR SMART GOALS:

SPECIFIC

MEASUREABLE

ATTAINABLE

REALISTIC

TIMELY

 

SPECIFIC

A specific goal helps narrow down a given goal by answering one of the 6 “W” questions: who, what, where, when, which and why. Example: A goal may be simply to diet and exercise more. A SPECIFIC goal however may be, “begin the 21 day fix workout and diet program on September 22.”

MEASUREABLE

In order for something to be measurable progress must be easily assessed. When you measure progress it may be easier to measure an individual’s success no matter how great or small.

For example: In order to hold myself accountable I download the 21 Day Fix app for my iPhone and track my meals/water intake/workouts daily. It acts as a means of accountability.

ATTAINABLE

It’s not enough to simply set goals. It is important to evaluate whether or not the goal may actually be accomplished and how. It is important to set a goal that is not impossible or out of reach. Allow your goal to PUSH you to not something that is below standard performance.

REALISTIC

In order to set a realistic goal it is important to understand how striving for this goal will affect your life. It is important to set relevant, reasonable and rewarding goals. For instance, setting the goal to lose 30lbs in one month may prove to be unrealistic. A more realistic goal may be to lose 1-3lbs a week making a 10lb loss more realistic and attainable in that given time frame.

TIMELY

Set goals in terms of timeframes and a means of accountability. Be sure to allow enough time to achieve said goal. In the example above it might not be realistic to lose 30lbs in 30 days but, it may be a good timely goal for someone to lose 30lbs in a 3 month time period.

In Conclusion SMART Goals Are… Smart.

I first learned about setting SMART goals when I was studying for my Masters Degree… and I thought to myself this is “genius.” I am embracing SMART goals to make several different changes within my personal life. It seems to be a simplified means to an end. By setting specific goals that are measurable, attainable, realistic and time sensitive it raises my confidence that I will succeed. Not only do I have a goal but I now have a plan of action.

*Most if not all of these goals are given with the emphasis on weight loss. SMART goals are not just for health and fitness goals. SMART goals may be utilised to achieve both small and large goals across a wide spectrum of things from educational goals, fitness, financial, house work, organisational goals, etc.

I want to encourage you to grab a pen, paper, a cup of coffee and a snack and sit down and begin the process of simplifying your goals.

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