Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Are your goals SMART?

For many, January 1, 2009 will bring about new goals and resolutions. As one year ends and a new one makes it way in, we tend to think of ways to be better than the previous year. Often times however, we forget about our New Year resolutions after a few months have passed. Or, we may give up on them because we become discouraged. One way to set and achieve goals is to first write them down so you can have a reminder of them. Next, make sure your goals are SMART. Here's a breakdown of what I mean. Let's take the issue of weight. First, goals must be (S)Specific. Try not make your goals too vague because you won't be able to easily assess your success or the need to modify a goal. Instead of saying I will loose weight this year, change it to I will loose 5 pounds per month. Secondly, a goal must be (M)-Measurable. I will increase my exercise from 1 day a week to at least 3 days a week is easy to measure. A goal should be (A)-Achievable. Many times we fall off the band wagon because our goals are not realistically achievable. To say you will loose 30 pounds in 15 days is not achievable for anyone. Rather, commit to loosing 5 pounds in 30 days. This is more achievable and you will feel better knowing you reached one of your goals. Setting (R)-Realistic goals will also help you achieve them. It is important to evaluate whether or not you have the time, resources and support you need to reach your goals. Lastly, goals should be (T)-Time Framed. Some people spend a lot of time talking about what they want to do, someday. But, without a target date there is no sense of urgency and no reason to take any action today. Having a specific time frame (that is SMART) gives you the push you will need to get started. It also helps you monitor your progress.

So, a SMART goal will look something like this: Within 30 days, I will loose 5 pounds. Or you can say, in 2009, I will live a healthier lifestyle. I will know I am doing this by loosing 5 pounds a month, exercising (walking, cleaning, swimming, dancing) at least 3 days a week for at least 20 minutes, attending all of my therapy appointments as scheduled, getting my dental check up at least every six months and showing within level cholesterol and blood pressure readings at my yearly exam.

Now that you know the fundamentals of goal setting keep the SMART acronym in mind to help you remember the basics. Don't push yourself too hard or too fast and always be your own best friend and never set yourself up for failure. While successful people know you have to stretch your talents to grow, they also know it's important to set reasonable goals. The first step to success is knowing where you want to go. The second step is having a plan to get there. Your goals are your road map. Follow them and you'll be well on your way. Good luck with your new goal setting and have a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

*Info in this blog is strictly my personal and/or professional opinion. Posts and comments are not intended to treat, diagnose or replace any medical advice you may have received. Please contact your doctor or therapist if you feel you need help, and in case of an emergency, dial 911.*


Anonymous said...

So Troy's "Yes We Can" resolution just won't work will it? :)

Unknown said...

smart blog, nice post