You may be asking yourself what is a S.M.A.R.T goal and how can I start applying them in my life to start improving my performance and overall well-being.
A S.M.A.R.T goal is...
A goal that is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. These are the factors that may just make the difference, when it comes to you reaching your personal goals and potential.
No matter how big or small your goal-whether it’s losing 10 or 40 pounds, walking a mile or running your first half marathon.
Real change requires real planning and SMART goal setting.
Follow these guidelines to setting SMART goals and you will be surprised at what you can do:
0. Specific. Your goal should be clear and easy to understand.
• A common goal, “get healthy,” is too general. There are so many ways to get healthy. How do you want to do it? Is it losing weight? Start exercising? Stop smoking? Break it down and it will be easier to manage.
• Let’s pick weight loss and make a SMART goal out of it together. For example, “I will lose weight.”
0. Measurable. A goal to “lose weight” is not enough. How will you track your progress and how you will know when you have reached your goal? Making your goal measurable means adding a number.
0. Attainable. Before you can add a number, you have to know how high or low you want to go. It’s good to ‘shoot for the stars’, but don’t be too extreme. Likewise, a goal that is too easy is also not very motivating. Only you know your limits.
• Let’s take our goal above. What percentage is attainable for you? Research suggests that a 5-10% weight loss is attainable for most overweight people.
• A measurable, attainable goal could be, “I will lose 7% of my body weight.”
0. Relevant. Set goals that are important to where you are in your life right now. Don’t set a goal that someone else is pressuring you to attain-that isn’t very motivating.
• Examine our goal so far. Does it seem relevant to you? If so, let’s keep going. If you are not concerned about weight loss or this is not a good time in your life to focus on that, choose something that IS motivating to you.
0. Time-bound. Include an end-point. Knowing that you have a deadline motivates you to get started.
• Since healthy weight loss is about 1-2 pounds per week, set your deadline accordingly. For our example we can use 3 months. “I will lose 7% of my body weight in 3 months.”
(Referenced from: Acefitness.org)
Why are goals important?
Setting goals in life help us to feel like we are making progress and not just working on a treadmill, without actually getting anywhere. Goals allow us to hold ourselves accountable and make daily decisions that will either lead us to our goals or away from them.
Top-level athletes, successful business owners, and excellent achievers in all fields have something in common. They set goals for themselves! Setting goals gives you long-term vision mixed with short term motivation. Your self-confidence will rise , as you begin to recognize your own ability and competence in achieving your goals.
Why haven’t you set specific goals for yourself?
It could be that you have just never taken the time to really sit back and think about what they want from life. Once you figure out what you want from your life, you have to have a plan. After all, would you set out on a major journey with no real idea of your destination? Probably not!
How do you get started?
First, you need to take that time for yourself and truly think about some of the things in life that you would like to achieve. These things needs to be specific, so you are able to build a true SMART goals. When you think of a goal that motivates you, write it down! Once it is on paper, some natural accountability begins to develop.
Goal setting is a very powerful process for thinking about what you want for your future. Goals are the driver that help you to turn your vision of the future into reality.
The process of setting goals helps you choose where you want to go in life. By knowing exactly what you want to achieve, you know where you have to concentrate your efforts. You will start making small daily choices that are all working towards your big goal. You will start to feel a sense of pride and accomplishment.
A great way to get started is to focus on setting 5 short-term smart goals and five long-term smart goals. As you become more comfortable with the process, you can break out your goal setting into different categories of your life.
• Career – What level do you want to reach in your career, or what do you want to achieve?
• Financial – How much do you want to earn, by what stage? How is this related to your career goals?
• Education – Is there any knowledge you want to acquire in particular? What information and skills will you need to have in order to achieve other goals?
• Family – Do you want to be a parent? If so, how are you going to be a good parent? How do you want to be seen by a partner or by members of your extended family?
• Artistic – Do you want to achieve any artistic goals?
• Attitude – Is any part of your mindset holding you back? Is there any part of the way that you behave that upsets you? (If so, set a goal to improve your behavior or find a solution to the problem.)
• Physical – Are there any athletic goals that you want to achieve, or do you want good health deep into old age? What steps are you going to take to achieve this?
• Pleasure – How do you want to enjoy yourself? (You should ensure that some of your life is for you!)
• Public Service – Do you want to make the world a better place? If so, how?
(Referenced from: mindtools.com)
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