Setting goals, and more importantly, sticking to them, is a huge part of becoming your healthiest self. Many people set lofty, unrealistic objectives for themselves and run out of steam before they achieve them.
One tactic we like to use for goal setting is the notion of S.M.A.R.T. goals. Your goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
Here’s a quick method you can follow when creating goals to ensure that you’re setting yourself up for success:
Specific – The clearer your goal, the more achievable it will be. Make sure your goal is concrete and defined. Think about what you want to accomplish, why it’s important to you, how you’re going to accomplish it, who else needs to be involved, and what resources you will need.
Measurable – Your goal should be set in a way that makes it easy to measure your progress. Establish specific criteria to ensure you’re moving toward your goal. It can be helpful to quantify it.
If you want to cut down on your take-out habit, committing to cook dinner at home four nights a week is a measurable goal.
Achievable – It may seem obvious, but to be successful, your goal must be possible. While pushing yourself out of your comfort zone can be necessary, make sure your goal is something you are both willing and able to work toward. It’s important to think about how you’ll make room in your budget, develop new skills, and carve out time to make your goal a reality.
Relevant – The relevancy of your goal is especially crucial when it comes to building a business or making a major lifestyle change. While you’re setting small, attainable, and specific goals, keep in mind how they feed into your larger goals and objectives.
Time-bound – In order to measure your success, you must have deadlines. Give yourself a certain amount of time to accomplish your goal, like a year or a month. Then break it down into smaller benchmarks so your time frame and goal aren’t as overwhelming.
Ready to start setting S.M.A.R.T. goals? Now that you understand the framework, begin by writing down your goals. Recording them will help you work through your ideas so you can be as specific as possible.
Need a few more tips? Here are some helpful pointers:
Think about the big picture. Although you want your goals to be specific and realistic, keep your big picture goal in mind. S.M.A.R.T. goal setting is all about breaking down your larger goals into manageable action items. Ask yourself if this goal is getting you closer to your long-term goals.
But also, think small. Yes, the big picture is important, but to get there, you should divide your goal into small, actionable pieces. What can you do today, this week, and this month to get closer to your goal? Sometimes, you need to take small steps to move forward!
Go public. Making your goal known to others can be extremely effective. When you let others in on your goal, you may find yourself feeling more accountable. You don’t have to share your goal with the world, but finding one person who is invested in your progress can be a huge motivation.
Track your progress. Set a time for regular check-ins to assess your progress and plan your next steps. Sometimes, we get so wrapped up in the day-to-day minutiae of our lives that our goals get pushed aside; check-ins will help keep you accountable and motivated!
Celebrate! Don’t forget to reward yourself for your hard work throughout the process. Celebrate your small wins and major successes – you deserve it!
What are your goals for this month? this year? next year?
Get started on your S.M.A.R.T. goals!