“A goal without a plan is just a wish”
You want to be “healthy” and maybe your New Year’s resolution was to “get in shape.” I think three months into the New Year is a great time to revisit the grand ideas and resolutions that you made for the first of the year. Goal setting is important and the first step in organizing your way to a healthier you.
When your goals are clear, you are more focused and motivated to achieve them. Grab a pen and some paper, and write everything down somewhere that you can refer back to. I suggest using the SMART methodology to create a solid goal. To do this, make sure your goal is:
State exactly what you want to accomplish, be as specific as possible. Don’t go overboard here – productivity studies show people cannot focus on more than 5-7 items at any one time. You don’t need to move the mountain – focus on a few key, SMART goals and you’ll stay focused.
How will you evaluate if the goal has been met? Select and track small tasks within each goal – these tasks should be quantifiable. Review your goals frequently and give yourself little awards for reaching milestones. Reviewing helps inspire you to stay on track.
Set goals that are challenging, but within your reach. There may be factors and constraints that you cannot control, instead of worrying about them, focus on the things you can control. After identifying the things you hold important, you begin to figure out ways you can make you goals come true.
Decide what is most important to you in your life and work. Ask yourself, is this a worthwhile goal, is this the right time?
Set target date to guide your goal to successful and timely completion. Include deadlines, dates and frequency.
So, what does a SMART goal look like? Here are two examples:
Starting Goal: “Get in Shape”
SMART Goal: “This year, I would like to work on my cardiovascular fitness. I will work out 3 times a week on the treadmill or elliptical at my local gym and walk with my family after dinner once a week. I will track my activity on the calendar on my phone weekly. Next December, I will celebrate by signing up and completing a 5K run.”
Starting Goal: “Lose Weight”
SMART Goal: “This year, I would like to lose 10 pounds. To accomplish this I will plan my meals and snacks weekly to ensure that I have healthy options easily ready for every meal. I will keep a food journal and weigh myself bi-weekly to make sure I’m on track – losing 2-3 pounds every two weeks.”
Small steps go a long way. You may feel overwhelmed at first, but break down your goal into smaller, bite-sized pieces and keep track of your progress. Do not get discouraged – everyone has setbacks. Refocus and remember that tomorrow is a new day.
What goals are you working towards?
To help you develop SMART goals, I’ve created an organizer template for you!
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