In my last blog I talked about the importance of finding your “why” when creating a goal. This time I’m going to talk about the best way to create these goals to increase the chance that you will actually achieve them.
The easiest and most effective way to create a solid goal for yourself is to use the S.M.A.R.T goal system. This means that whatever goal you make for yourself should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely.
Your goal needs to be specific or else you won’t have any idea what your goal actually looks like. “Losing weight” is not a goal because you could lose 1lb and that could be achieving your goal, right? You want to be specific. What do you want? Why do you want it? How will you get it? For example, a specific goal would look like “I am going to run 5km so I can increase my fitness level to bring down my blood pressure by joining a learn-to-run club and registering for a 5k race.” You want to run 5k because your blood pressure is high (and exercise is known to help lower it) and you’ll get it by joining a learn-to-run club and participating in a 5k race.
How will you know when you’ve achieved your goal? If you can’t measure your goal, you won’t know if you’re close to reaching it or have reached it at all! If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. Try to find something visual or quantifiable. Take our goal to run 5k, it’s perfect because we know that 5k is our goal. It’s measured! And we will constantly be aware of our progress with each and every run you go on with your club, if you run 2k one day and 3k the next, you know you’re closer to your 5k goal. If you can’t make it quantifiable, try to have some sort of visual reminder to help you. If you have a goal to organize your house, you may break it down to one room at a time and then put each room into sections. When one room is completely done you know you’re closer to your goal!
You goal should be challenging (let’s face it, if it weren’t challenging we would have done it long ago, am I right?) but not so challenging that it overwhelms you. Conversely, you don’t want it to be so easy that it becomes unimportant. Make your goal juuust out of reach so that when you do reach it, you’ve built the confidence to push yourself a little more on another goal. The more you achieve, the more confidence you will build and the more you will want to see what you’re capable of!
Goals also need to be relevant! Do you have the time, resources and skills to achieve this goal? If not, try working on getting those first before you tackle that goal. If you are in four weddings, launching two businesses, have three toddlers and an ailing parent, now may not be the time to commit to running a marathon! Be honest with yourself, if your goal is to run a marathon but you have a busy year ahead, why not make your goal for the year to get into a consistent running routine and build your base and then think about committing to a marathon the next year. You don’t want to overwhelm yourself!
Finally, give your goal a deadline! Giving it a deadline will fire you up and create a sense of urgency so that you work on achieving your goal every day! When you don’t have a goal you’ll be more prone to making excuses as to why you shouldn’t do the related tasks and pretty soon you’ll forget about it!
If you make your goals S.M.A.R.T. ones, you will be amazed at how quickly you achieve your goals and how much more focus you give to them!
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Photo Credit: Careerealism