Wednesday, January 7, 2015

SMARTER Goals



It's one week since New Year's and how many of you have kept your resolution(s)?  How long do your resolutions last?  Have you stopped making resolutions?

A resolution, by definition:

res·o·lu·tion/ˌrezəˈlo͞oSH(ə)n/

noun
  1. a firm decision to do or not to do something

A Goal on the other hand,

goal/ɡōl/
noun
1.  the object of a person's ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.
Do you see the difference here?  AMBITION OR EFFORT
I stopped making resolutions a long time ago, mostly because they would never last and I would feel like a failure when I didn't succeed.  The truth is, I shouldn't have been making resolutions, I should have been making goals that I worked toward with AMBITION OR EFFORT,  AND I shouldn't have waited until New Year's to make them. I set myself up for failure year after year.
This year I made myself some goals.  I won't bore you with the details of each goal, but I will tell you the steps I'm taking to meet my GOALS.
I'm sure all of you have heard the goals should be S.M.A.R.T.  For those of you that aren't familiar with this acronym, S.M.A.R.T. goals are:
  1. Specific
  2. Measureable
  3. Acheivable
  4. Relevant
  5. Time-bound
Saying, "I'm going to lose weight," is not a SMART goal.  Saying, "I'm going to lose 50 pounds in a month," is not a SMART goal.  Saying, "I'm going to lose 40 pounds in 5 months, so I look better and feel better about myself," is a SMART goal, it is, specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound.  

Determining your SMART goal is just the start to succeeding.  Next, you have to determine what steps are necessary to succeed.  How about eating healthy and exercising, isn't that what everyone tells us we should do to lose weight?  So how are you going to do that?  Each step must be broken down into smaller steps, tasks that must be done to succeed.  How about, packing a healthy lunch to take to work at least 4 days a week, drinking more water, taking vitamins, exercising at least 40 minutes, a minimum of 4 times a week. 

I know my biggest excuse, when I don't complete something I wanted/needed to get done, is TIME.  If I had a dollar for every time I said, "I didn't have time," I'd be rich. Again, you must figure out how you will utilize your valuable time and that means PLANNING.  Plan your meals, make a shopping list, make your lunch the night before, plan your workouts, have your vitamins separated out for each day of the week, have a system to track your water intake.....

I am a planner freak so the planning is the fun part for me.  Most planners don't work the way I need them to, so making your own planner inserts, or downloading something from the web, may be the best way to get something that will work for you.  

I personally like seeing my week laid out in front of me on one full page with a section for tasks, notes, appointments/important events, and a tracking section.  I  prefer a heavier weight paper than regular printer paper and if I'm feeling ambitious, I'll pick up some cute scrapbooking paper to use.  This is what I use for my week:


It's nothing fancy, but it works for what I need and want.  I also will insert I page bookmark that lists important dates for the entire month so when I turn the page to the following week, there's no surprises.  This gets printed up on cardstock so it survives getting moved every week.


If you aren't ambitious enough or have the know how to make your own weekly planner sheet there are a ton of free calendars that you can download and print.  I personally like the look of these from Smart School House


If you like the full page idea for notes, tracking or whatever you need, just print up multiple copies of each month and you can title each row with your own categories. 

The planning part is ongoing and ever changing.  You really need to put some effort into this part.   

The final thing I do is what some authors have deemed "Evaluate and Review," and have turned SMART goals into SMARTER goals.  Like planning, this is ongoing and this is where some people will become discouraged.  DON'T GET DISCOURAGED IF YOU FALL OFF THE PROVERBIAL WAGON OR HORSE!  GET BACK ON AND RIDE!!!!!!  There will always be bumps in the road or days when all your planning just doesn't make the day go, well, as planned.   Review your tracking, did you make your water goal yesterday?  If not, WHY? Did you exercise as planned?  If not, WHY?  Can you plan your workout for another day to still meet your goal of 4 times a week?  At the end of the first month have you lost enough weight to still make your 40 pounds a realistic goal?  If not, adjust your goal and evaluate why so next month you can meet your goal. 

So go set yourself a SMART(ER) goal or two and once you have achieved what you set out to do, set some more.  Goals shouldn't just be thought of once a year, those are resolutions and resolutions are not the way to succeed. 

2 comments:

  1. Fabulous advice. I think I'll sit down and make a couple of SMART goals myself this evening.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Cassandra! I hope everyone gets some sort of take-away from this.

    ReplyDelete