Have you set some goals for the New Year yet? If so, are they SMART? Today I would like to share three tips on setting goals to ensure they are achievable and worthwhile. SMART goals, as they say in the business world, have the following characteristics.
1) S- stands for specific, not vague.
2) M – stands for measureable, quantifiable. How will it be measured?
3) A – achievable, action-oriented not ridiculous.
4) R – realistic – do I really want to achieve this goal? Why?
5) T – time bound. A determined timeframe is established when the goal will be finished.
Let’s take the example of exercise. A smart goal would be “I will exercise at my target heart rate for 30 minutes 3 – 4 times a week to improve my cardiovascular health & reduce my blood pressure.” This means 1) I will find out what my target heart rate actually should be so that I am working out hard enough to make a difference and 2) I have connected my goal to my long range purpose for my life i.e living a long and healthy life.
The second point I want to make is that in order to make a significant change in our behavior, we must first take on a new perspective on how we perceive the issue. For example, if you have always said “I hate to exercise”, then my suggestion is to reframe that perception to something positive such as “Exercise is good for my health and is enjoyable when I find the right activity to pursue.” In other words, we must change the way we think about things in order for our behaviors to follow suit.
And last, but certainly not least, have faith that you can achieve your goals. Have a vision of yourself in that size 6 little black dress or riding that motorcycle, climbing that mountain, or writing that book. Faith is the belief in things not yet seen which means we need to see them happening and pull them into our present by our thoughts and prayers.
Setting the right kind of goals can motivate us to succeed. They challenge us in our lives. Reaching a goal gives us courage to climb a bigger mountain next time. I know. I’ve climbed lots of them, all by the grace of God.
I hope this post has encouraged you to make some changes in your life. If you are new to goal-setting, start small. You will be amazed at the renewed zest for life you will feel when you begin making positive changes.
Until next time, keep the faith and keep looking up!