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Rarely do people catch their resolutions. They can be quite slippery and evasive.
With 365 days in a year, many people reserve goal setting for just one special day-New Year’s Eve. This special day is when most people sit down and evaluate where they want to be in the next year.
There is just something about the end of a year that makes us want to reflect on our accomplishments. In our minds, it makes the new year seem more conquerable. It appears to be shinier than the previous year.
We become motivated.
We become excited.
We become hypnotized because we see our future being oh-so bright. With our resolutions declared, we can hardly wait for the new year to start.
Unfortunately, for most resolution setters, these goals fizzle out by February. The grind of daily life sets in, and they are back to the same patterns they were trying to break by setting a new year’s resolution in the first place.
So, why wait for New Year’s Eve to set goals for yourself? Why not pick up where you left off?
There is never an ideal time to start a new goal or dream. Yes, circumstances could always be better.
The problem is that if you wait for the perfect circumstances, you will never start reaching your goals. So, let us get to work.
One of the keys to reaching your goals is to make sure your goals are S.M.A.R.T.
- Realistic (Result Focused)
What are Specific Goals?
Often people set vague goals, and when they don’t achieve them, they wonder why. An example of a vague goal is: I want to lose 50 lbs.
Well, fantastic. However, you haven’t really set a goal here. You just, sort-of declared to no one in particular that losing 50 lbs. is a desire that you have.
How do you make a goal specific? You need to add the “what,” “why,” and “how.” Making the weight loss goal-specific would look like this:
I want to lose 50 lbs. by exercising 3 days per week and reducing the amount of “junk food” I consume and adding more fruits and vegetables to my diet because this will allow me to be more active with my kids and perform better at work.
There is a huge difference in the two goals. The modified goal gives you a vision. So, get specific.
If you can not measure a goal, you will never know if you have been successful. Our weight loss goal is specific and has measurements built into the goal. If your goal is less numbers-oriented, you need to make sure you have a tangible way to see that you have accomplished your goal.
One thing many people set goals for is their performance at work. If you have done this, let your boss know and ask for feedback or a performance review.
If you do not ever hit your goal because it is unattainable, you will quit. Make sure you can achieve success. For example, if you are not overweight, but you want to lose 50 lbs., the goal is not attainable. Whereas, if you are 75 lbs. overweight and want to lose 50 lbs., this is an attainable goal.
Our weight loss example is only a realistic goal if we frame it in the perspective of someone who has extra weight to lose. Also, the weight loss goal is results-focused.
Why focus on results?
If you never focus on the result of the goal, you don’t know what you have accomplished. Make sure you are aware of the end result of your goal, which in our example is to be able to play with your kids and increase your performance at work.
The missing piece to our weight loss goal is that it isn’t time-bound. To be a S.M.A.R.T. goal you must make sure all goals have a timeline. These timelines must be realistic and attainable. No one can lose 50-lbs. in one week. It is unattainable and unrealistic. But the average person who may be 75 lbs. overweight can possibly lose 50 lbs. within a year’s time.
The final time-bound version of our goal looks like this:
I want to lose 50 lbs in 10 months. I will lose weight by exercising 3 days per week in addition to reducing the amount of “junk food” I consume and adding more fruits and vegetables to my diet. I want to lose weight because this will allow me to be more active with my kids and perform better at work. I will ask for a performance evaluation at work when I have lost the weight to measure my increased performance. I will have the ability to take my kids to the park 2 times a week to play for 30 minutes uninterrupted when I am done.
This goal has many milestones and markers of success built into it. The results are measured not only in the pounds lost but in the performance at work and the increased playtime with kids.
This goal has hit all the S.M.A.R.T. markers. The best part is that there is not a need to put it off until New Year’s Eve. This goal can be started right now.
If you want more strategies for reaching your goals, join my 52 Weeks of Success e-course.
Hey, just wondering, are you still committed to your goals you set this year? Let me know in the comments section.