Saturday, January 4, 2014

Setting SMART goals

I briefly introduced you to SMART goals in yesterday's post. Do you remember what SMART stands for?
Time Framed

Setting goals is great but if you don't think through your goals and how they will be achieved, then the only thing you are accomplishing is writing some sentences on paper. You won't have anything to show for it at the end of the year.
The Bible tells us that making wise decisions is more valuable than gold.

"How much better to get wisdom than gold! and good judgment than silver." Proverbs 16:16

Let me give you some examples.

You may set a goal that you want to lose weight.  Using the S for specific, you would make your goal to lose 15 pounds and go down to pants sizes. This would also make your goal measurable in that you would know when you achieved it. When you lose 15 lbs, you've achieved your goal.  You also want to remember the A for achievable.  Losing 15 lbs is an achievable goal. It doesn't mean that 15 lbs is all you can lose or you have to stop at 15. If you achieve the 15 lb. goal then you could move onto the next goal of another 15, etc. I've found this works better for maintaining motivation rather than setting your original goal to lose 45 lbs., getting frustrated when your weight loss plateaus and giving up altogether.

The R in SMART goals stands for realistic.  It is important that our goals be not only achievable but realistic for our time and situation.  It isn't a bad thing to dream and stretch ourselves but we don't want to live in denial or set ourselves up for failure either.

For instance, I am NOT a runner. I don't like to sweat and I'm big up top, which is just not fun when you run.  However, I have friends that swear that running is the best way to stay fit and that it makes them feel amazing.  So, I want to be a runner. I want to stay fit and I want to feel amazing.  I am trying to incorporate physical activity in my daily life.  But, I am not going to set a goal to run a marathon in 2014. That is simply not realistic.

Could I run a 5k? Sure {if fast paced walking counts as running :)} Could I run 3 days a week? Absolutely.  Those would be more realistic goals than running a marathon and if I stick with those goals, running a marathon could be in my future {except I don't like to sweat and 26 miles is a lot!}Definitely stick to realistic goals for yourself.

Last but not least, make sure your goals are time framed.  If you make a goal that you want to read more, how will you know if you've achieved it?  A SMART goal would be "I will read 1 book a month I haven't read before in 2014". That is specific {a book you haven't read before}, measurable {read 1 book a month} it is achievable and realistic and time framed {you will accomplish the goal in 2014}.

I hope that this has helped you see the difference between a generic goal and a SMART goal.

I would love for you to share a SMART goal you write for yourself in the comments below.

Till tomorrow,

1 comment:

  1. Lose 10 lbs by this summer.
    spend more time enjoying my son.
    make family a higher priority.
    Cook a homecooked dinner at least once a week
    take on the challenge of a second job