We’ve all been there.
You aspire to start exercising or eating healthier. But then, someone invites you to dinner or a party and you push your goals back. You tell yourself that you can just start next week.
A couple of weeks have passed, however now you’re all geared up and ready.
New workout clothes? Check √
New meal plan? Check √
The only problem now is that it’s your birthday or anniversary, so you HAVE to treat yourself – I mean, heck, this day ONLY comes once a year, so why not, right?! You tell yourself that you can just start next week.
Perhaps you really want to make a career change, return to school, take up a new hobby, or even travel. After thinking about it for some time, you finally convince yourself that you either don’t have the time or don’t have the money right now. But once you do – you’re DEFINITELY going to book that class or trip.
As you can see, regardless of the goal you have in mind, bringing your thoughts to fruition can occasionally be a daunting task. This is why you must be strategic in your goal-setting. You have to be motivated. In essence, if you don’t have SMART goals in mind – it may be quite difficult to meet and exceed even your own expectations.
What are SMART Goals?
S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym which represents five smaller, manageable steps, underneath an overall goal umbrella that will allow you to celebrate little victories as you continue pressing towards your overall goal. The 5 techniques which should enable almost anyone to fulfill their goals should be:
Specific: Only you know ultimately what you want and need to accomplish. Do not sell yourself short. Be clear about what exactly you want to achieve. For example: instead of saying “I’m not eating carbs,”say “I will not eat any bread, cake or pasta for 1 week.”
Measurable: When you’re outlining your goal, have a clear understanding of how you will measure your progress. For instance: “I will complete 3 new job applications every day.”
Achievable: Try not to overwhelm yourself or create unnecessary anxiety by setting goals in which you are unable to achieve in a short time frame or without proper preparation. If you have never played an instrument and do not know how to read music, having a goal of playing in a classical piano recital within 3 weeks is possibly an unachievable goal. Stating that you will learn the difference between treble and bass clef and know how to play a basic scale on the piano within 3 weeks is achievable.
Realistic: Don’t set yourself up for disappointment. Obviously, if you put your mind to it, you can eventually succeed in your heart’s desires, however be honest with yourself about the amount of effort you‘re willing to dedicate to attain your goal. Everyone isn’t thrilled about going to a gym or fitness center. Maybe, you can try joining a dance class instead – or even Hip Hop Abs dance/workout DVD’s in the comfort of your own home. Walking 20 – 30 minutes a day can also help you eventually reach your fitness goals.
Timely: When you’re ambitious, but do not have a set time in mind, plans can fall through. Know and name the time frame in which you want to have your goal met. I will return to school by August, is better than saying I’ll start school soon.