How many times have you decided to get healthy starting Monday? Are you going to write the next great novel “someday”? Perhaps you are a student and “hoping” to pass all of your classes?
All of these dreams are the beginning of a goal, but without more detail they are harder to accomplish. As people, we tend to have a lot of really great ideas. Someday kills them. Hoping to get lucky with no responsibility eradicates our own ability to celebrate without a gnawing suspicion that we may not be so lucky next time.
When you want to set a goal, make sure it is “SMART”!
Let’s stick with getting healthy and do some practice.
“I want to get healthy, but I will start on Monday.”
Does this statement answer all of the SMART statements above? Is it specific? No. What is healthy. There is no way to assume that you are over/underweight. It could be that you want to change your diet to feel better/alleviate some ailment. Healthy is too broad of a term to ensure that this goal is Specific.
“I want to lose 20 pounds.”
Better. This one is specific as it provides a precise measurement. Just saying “I want to lose weight” leaves us nothing to measure. This statement has knocked off the first two criteria for setting a SMART goal (Specific/Measurable)
“I (still) want to lose 20 pounds”
Great! Is this achievable for you specifically? This may be an easy answer for you or you may need to seek the advice of a medical professional (which is most definitely not me). Make sure you are setting a goal that is relevant to you. Make sure you and your body will be happier once you start to see these results. You could always alter the amount. “I want to lose/gain 5 pounds”, “I want to have more energy and not feel so bogged down because of my diet”. You can also measure subjectively. If you feel lethargic a lot, you could maintain a journal on your journey to track any changes/improvements. You are not tied to the statements I make. Make them your own. If your goal is attainable, move along. Is this goal relevant to you? Keep tweaking until you come up with something that fits your needs/desires. (Achievable/Relevant)
Now, let us give it some Time.
“I want to lose 20 pounds in six months”
Look at that! You have created a deadline. Now your goal is Time-Bound. You have taken away the dreaded ambiguity of someday and given yourself a block of time to achieve a goal. (Time-Bound)
Time to review the entire thing and make sure we have checked off each of the criteria.
S= 20 pounds
M= You have your starting weight and a measurable goal (20 pounds)
A= You have made sure that this is something that you can do and that it is an achievable goal with your overall health in mind.
R= Looking at whether the goal fits you personally. Relevance has passed.
T= You have given yourself 6 months to reach your goal.
Now that you have created an overall goal, you can start creating mini-goals.
“I want to lose about one pound a week. I will lose 4 pounds in one month.”
Your smart goal has led you to a place where you can seek out the information that you need to make it happen. These are your actionable steps. Each of these should also be SMART.
- I will exercise for one hour 3 times a week.
- I will increase my daily water intake to 64 ounces per day.
- I will decrease my saturated fat/carbohydrate intake by 20%.
- I will increase the amount of fresh foods in my diet by including two vegetables/ fruits to each of my meals.
Again, you are in no way bound to my example including weight loss. Write a book! Achieve a Grade Point Averge (GPA) you can be proud of on purpose! Clean your house! Take up running! Do whatever you want! Just make sure you are SMART!
I tried to find an origin for the SMART acronym. Here’s a little tidbit I found…
Eve is a mom, student, daughter, sister, blogger, doer, thinker, and more. Any and all blog content should be viewed as opinion and any sources should be verified prior to using any of these words in that particular order to form your own (opinions). For more, visit: Happy Kotter: Disclaimer. Have a great day!