Originally published on Wishfit, a fitness and lifestyle blog written by LiveWell Mom Trisha Ryan
I recently shared some of my goals for 2012, and I'm wondering; did you notice any thing about how they were written? Go ahead and read through them again if you want.
Figure it out yet?
They are S.M.A.R.T. Specific, Measureable, Action-based, Realistic and Time-lined. For example, from my list of personal goals:
Take at least two classes just for fun, such as a yoga workshop, cooking class or outdoor survival skills. Stay tuned on this one as I have a class to share with you guys already. I plan to do this within the next year, so I have a Time-line. I've committed to two classes, which isSpecific and Measurable. I decided on two classes because I felt that was a Realistic number, though I could easily take more if I choose. Physically taking classes is Action-based.
If you look back at my other goals, you should find that most of them follow the S.M.A.R.T. guidelines (though I may not have gone into as much detail in my post as I did in my own notes).
If you want your resolutions to play out successfully, making them S.M.A.R.T. is crucial. That's because it's fun and easy to daydream about your desired outcome (I want to look like a fitness model), but breaking down the steps to actually achieve that outcome is a lot more challenging. It requires thought, work and commitment. You must ask yourself the tough questions: am I really ready to change? Is my goal realistic and sustainable? What will I gain from making these changes? What will I lose? Does the positive outweigh the negative? How will I make my goal a reality?
So how do you set a S.M.A.R.T. goal? Let's say you want to drink more water. That's a pretty vague and unmeasurable statement. What if you said: "Right now I only drink one glass of water a day, usually with my lunch. In three months I'd like to be drinking the recommended eight, 8 oz. glasses of water on most days of the week. This week I'll start by drinking a glass at breakfast in addition to my usual glass at lunch."
Now there's a goal you could really achieve, if you want to that is. All the S.M.A.R.T. goal-setting in the world won't help if you aren't ready to do the work. There are ways to determine readiness to change (a post for another day, perhaps), but really all you have to do is give it a try. If, after a week or two, you find yourself struggling with the first steps, or rebelling against your goal, it's time to reassess. Maybe you were too lofty. Maybe now isn't the right time. There is no shame in changing or nixing a goal that doesn't work for you right now. The idea is success, not another year of unrealistic abandoned resolutions.
Feel like sharing a S.M.A.R.T. goal? Still not quite sure how to set one for yourself? Let me know; I'm here to help!