We discussed the reasons people fail to meet their goals and also a look at planning, things you can do to help you reach your goals. This post will take it a bit further into setting specific goals – goals that will get done! Like done, done!!
Here is the basics to how I was originally introduced to SMART goals. (I wrote about SMART goals previously here – this post will be a little more in depth)
SMART is an acronym which stands for:
There are other meanings that go a bit more and include some small differences in definition. I will not get into them all here.. If you have heard it a little bit differently GREAT!
Breaking them down
Specific – Your goal needs to be specific. No ambiguity. Saying “I want to run more” has no defined target, you need to get to the point “I will run 1000 miles ” is specific. Specifies an amount.
Measurable – Here is where data is king. You need to have some kind of measurement to track progress. If you don’t know where you are going or where you are traveling to, how will you know if you are on course? With our running example you need some way to track mileage. For me, I use a Garmin watch when I exercise (even tracks on a treadmill) and the data is collected and stored on line.
Attainable – Do I really think I can do this? If the goal is impossible, or for all parts impractical, there will be a slim chance for success. You want to make the goal something you WILL be able to accomplish. Saying I want to sail around the world is great, I would need to learn how to sail first. Not really practical at this stage in my life (yet)!
Relevant – Is this goal something that is relevant with me? Yes, I have been doing more and more running and competing in triathlons covering more and longer distances, this combination will allow me to keep this goal in focus.
Time bound – Here is one of the KEY items. We need to set an end date. If we do not set a time-frame procrastination can creep in. There is always tomorrow…. right? For this goal, I am giving myself to the end of 2016.
So my smart goal is now: I will run 1000 miles by December 31, 2016
This breaks down to ~20 miles a week. I will be looking to run around 25+ miles a week as I ramp up my training (doing 10 miles this week). This goal will be a challenging one that will keep me moving through the whole year!
Now we get into making our goals even SMARTER
Take the SMART from above and we will add:
(again, there are a few different definitions with regards to SMARTER – all good. Find one and use it!)
Adding a bit more
Excitable – Does the goal get you excited? Is this something you REALLY want to accomplish? If the goal is because someone else is doing it or just something you thought of off the cuff, then your chances are slim to none for accomplishing it. Part of an excitable goal will include getting others involved to motivate you along the way. I have a couple of friends who also do triathlons and another that is just starting. “N” is motivating and inspiring me to do more and more.
Reevaluate – As we measure our progress, the data may present something different than what we planned. If my training goes VERY well, I may look to hit the goal early. I may want to reevaluate and even expand it to a further distance. On the other end of the spectrum, what if I get hurt or injured? This will really put a wrench in the monkey (old pun) and make it so the goal is virtually un-attainable. If this happens do I beat myself up? Heck no. We need to understand that life is life, things happen. Look at the data and see what is possible (Our “A” for attainable). If it is not, then re-evaluate, adjust and move on.
Life is life… We need a GPS
Think about your GPS. If you happen to take a wrong turn does it then tell you “Oh well, you messed up, might as well quit” – nope. It simply looks at the data, thinks about the options while telling you “recalculating”. Then it conveniently redraws a new route to get you to your destination.
We will all hit bumps in the road. Things we don’t plan for. External forces that throw us off course. That is OK.. We just need to realistically look at the situation, reset our GPS and keep working toward our destination.
Every one of us has things we want to do – Dreams. Take a dream, write up a plan, and then make it a goal.. no make it a SMARTER goal and go get it!
In the next couple of posts I will share a few more goals and methods I will use to work the process. Taking a dream, planning out the course and working towards achieving it!
What are some of my goals? Well you already have an idea of one… Here are a few of my personal goals:
- I will run 1000 miles in 2016 by December 31st. I will accomplish this by training regularly and consistently. Participation in triathlons will keep me on point and provide milestones throughout the year.
- I will complete Timberman – the Ironman 70.3 triathlon in Guilford, NH – on August 21st. I will complete the course in under 7 1/2 hours.
- I will complete my first marathon – The Hartford Eversource Marathon – on October 8th.
Those are just a few of the things I plan on accomplishing in 2016. There are many, many more goals. Just wait for the one in 2017 already on the horizon!!
I am not setting goals just in the area of personal fitness. I am also working on goals for spirituality, vocation, financial and the most import goals of trips and events with my family.
Leave a comment below on a goal you have for this year. What do you want to do, when will you get it done, and how will you go about doing it?
If you need assistance with a goal please do not hesitate to get a hold of me. I would love the opportunity to help you succeed!
Love and Peace,