Set Your Goal
Well designed goals give us the specific details (a plan) to help move our vision into action. The best goals for this are called SMART goals. Taking the time to plan is a huge step in ensuring our intentions are carried forward. And, even the best laid plans need tweaking, or even tossing out. SMART goals offers a place to start based on what we know today, test in the real world, see what worked or didn’t and adjust based on what we learn—no judgments, just information!
Be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time Limited.
What exactly do you want to achieve, what regular practice, behavior, or outcome?
- It is important to be specific with what you would like to achieve and how you think you can achieve it. Who will do it? What is the action you will be taking? Where or when will this happen?
- For example: I want to lose 10lbs, Exercise more
A measurable goal is a goal that has clear deadlines and expectations of what the final product will look like.
- How often? By when? What it is you will see, hear and feel when you reach your goal.
- For example: By X date, I want to walk in my neighborhood three times a week for one hour per day.
Is your goal attainable? It might mean starting with a smaller goal that may help you to achieve your bigger goals later.
- Weigh the effort, time and other costs your goal will take against your values and current priorities you have in life. If you don’t have the time, money or talent to reach a certain goal you’ll certainly let yourself down. That doesn’t mean that you can’t take on something that seems impossible and make it happen by planning small steps and going for it!
- For example: I will buy good walking shoes this weekend
Make sure your goal is relevant to your larger aspirations.
- Do you actually want to run a marathon, be famous, have three children and a busy job? You decide for yourself whether you have the personality for it, or the current bandwidth. It doesn’t’ mean you can’t acquire the skills, or resources you may not have; but the main questions, is why do you want to reach this goal and will this goal really achieve that?
- For example: If my knee starts hurting, I’ll switch to a swim class or bike ride
Timely - Limited
Setting smaller goals that are time-limited and will allow you to see progress and lay the path towards how you will achieve success over a period of time.
- Make a timeline realistic and flexible. Celebrate progress, not just outcomes!
- For example: I will walk at lunch one day this week for 30 minutes
Putting it All Together - Final Goal
Write out an initial draft of your goal by briefly writing out what you want to do?
- For example: By x date, walk, lose 10lbs and have more energy by walking, swimming or biking at least 3 x a week for 1 hour a day.
- For more help, download the SMART Goals Worksheet here.