Goals the SMART Way
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This is the week that I have been both waiting for and in some ways (if I’m honest) dreading a bit. It is the week of “goal setting”. Last year I started a Facebook accountability group that focuses on both nutritional and physical goals. We go for a few months and then start over giving members the opportunity to leave us and have others join us. We are all committed to checking in at least once a week and let the other members know how we did the previous week.
One of the first things that we all need to do is set some goals. I am a firm believer that without a goal I have merely just a wish, a desire and a want. In addition I firmly believe that without accountability and community I am more likely to fail than to succeed. I have been on a journey towards greater healing in all aspects of my life and whether I like it or not (which sometimes I don’t) this encompasses both a change in my diet as well as physical activity. For the most part I was doing fairly well but knew that I could do better. After some pondering over this I came to the conclusion that I was lacking two very important keys.
The first one was accountability and the second was realistic and clearly defined goals. Not to let the cart come before the horse, today I am going to share a bit on goal setting.
Being an Addictions Counsellor I am aware of the importance of being intentional when setting a goal. I often will liken it to a sports team and how they work at winning their game. Before the game, during the game as well as after the game, they have a game plan. They know what they have to do and how they have to do it. Growing up in the “hockey world” I was able to witness this first hand. In order to succeed in winning the game the players had to not only practice their skills alone, they also needed a game plan on how they would play together — each member of the team needed to know what was required of him or her . In order to be a successful team they needed to be intentional when they came to play on game day.
Not only does one need to be intentional when setting a goal, they also have to be “smart”. Let’s take a look at what it means to be a “smart” goal setter.
One of the biggest hinderances in meeting a goal is not being specific in what it is you want to accomplish. Without a destination you may wind up just going around and around the block and never really getting anywhere. A question that you can ask yourself is: “What exactly do I want to accomplish?”. This is your bulls eye — your target. An example of a specific goal is:
I want to be able to increase my steps to 10,00o a day.
In order to know that you achieved your goal, or are on the way of achieving it, it will be important to have an indicator. An example of this:
I will use my Fitbit (or pedometer) to track my steps. I will keep a logbook and fill it out every night before I go to sleep with how many steps I took that day.
This is where a lot of people crash and burn. They set their expectations way too high and end up feeling defeated and quit. Often this happens even before they get started. Your goal needs to be challenging, yet also in your power to do it realistically. If you haven’t walked in years — other than to your car or to your couch — then you may want to start with a mini goal and then work your way up. For example your goal may be to track your steps for a week and then increase by 500 steps a day for the next week. This way your goal is attainable and it won’t be too overwhelming.
This is where you ask, “Is this goal important to me?”. If it’s not important to you then it will be easy to just not do it. I have often tried to achieve a goal that was important to my parents, my husband or even my doctor, however, it really wasn’t that important to me. This has rarely led me to success. It is not until the goal is important to me that I will then put the effort into it that is required. You have time for the things that are meaningful in your life. You put effort into the areas that has relevance to your life.
Your goal needs to be timely. Ask yourself,”When do I want to achieve this goal by?”. It’s important to set a target date. This will not only keep you on track it will also help encourage you to the finish line.
Setting goals can be intimidating. I think it’s important to really think about the goals we are setting and be intentional by setting ourselves up for success. I encourage you start setting your goals the “smart” way and I cheer for you as you cross the goal met finish line.
Be Blessed 💞💞💞