Successful Goal Setting

steppingIt’s amazing to me that half of 2014 is already over and that we are in the middle of summer. It seems that time really does fly by the older that you get. Summer not only marks the blissful time for long sunny days spending time with family and friends but also marks the midway point in the year. This is a great time to revisit those 2014 New Year’s Resolutions and evaluate the progress and make new goals for the second half of the year.
When looking back at my goals, I see that a few were obtained but with many of the goals the progress got started by stalled somewhere along the way. This brings me back to the concept of creating “S.M.A.R.T” goals*. This is a simple process of editing goals to become more obtainable and easier to accomplish because the larger goal is broken down into smaller more manageable parts.
For example: one of my goals is to “eat healthier”. When taking a closer look, this is a fairly vague goal that can lead to little success. By using the SMART method the goal can become easier to track and hopefully lead to greater success.
Let’s examine this more closely:
S: Specific
Define the goal from a broad statement to one that has more detail.
For example: The previous goal of “eat healthier” becomes “I will eat meals with more vegetables and fruits and will have desert no more than once a week.”
M: Measurable
Under this step, you can state a way that you will track your progress.
For example: I will eat at least one vegetable (not fried) with dinner at least 5 nights a week and a salad with dinner at least 5 nights a week. And I will switch out by breakfast meals for fruit for at least 2 meals per week.
A: Attainable
Is this a goal that is truly important to you and not only that is being suggested by family or friends? At this step of the planning process take time to ensure this is your goal and that it fits within your own envision for your life. Goals that are put on us by other people can be harder to obtain.
R: Realistic
Also check to make sure this goal is one that you are ready to devote the energy to and one that is not overly complicated.
For example: If I were to state in my goal that I will no longer drink vanilla lattes. I know that I would be setting myself up for failure.
T: Time Sensitive
This step of the process requires you to set a check point for your goal and may help increase your motivation.
For example: I will be eating more vegetables and fruits with at least 5 of my weekly meals by August 1, 2014.
This midway point in the year is an excellent time to revisit those goals you set for in January and even add new ones. Take the time to create a plan for your goals that define them more concretely by using the SMART system and you will hopefully be on track towards successfully obtaining your goals!
If you find that the goals are still hard to accomplish, it could be helpful to talk with a counselor who can listen to your goals and discuss and evaluate your plans with you.
*SMART Goal Design is attributed to the work of Peter Drucker and George T Doran