Ready for Change?
We are always searching. It is in our nature to seek ways to better ourselves and our lives.
Maybe we want to learn something new.
Maybe we want to strengthen a skill we already possess or hobby that we already have.
Maybe we want to completely shift some piece of our lives.
Whatever it may be, we all have areas that could be revisited and altered in order to spark creativity, enlightenment, invigoration, or just plain old fashioned joy.
In our last post, we discussed activating our 4R’s: rejuvenation, refresh, refocus, and reset. We also shared a few tips on how to look closer and hone in on specific areas of growth and/or change. In case you missed it, this nifty and simple exercise is super effective for honing in on your 4R area of focus, or your 4R "what".
So...what next? Well, now that we have identified our 4R "what", let’s take a look at the "how". I've got to tell you, as tough as it is to narrow down our 4R "what", it can be even harder to determine how we will reach our goals! Luckily, we have this stress-free and super fun method of crafting an ideal and effective plan of action. For this, we start with the ultra-handy and awesome method of creating S.M.A.R.T. goals...
Originated in 1981 by George T. Doran, the S.M.A.R.T. goal setting acronym has been a total game changer for me and countless others. It provides a succinct, inspiring, and easy-to-stick-with method for reaching goals and continuously improving our lives. So, what does S.M.A.R.T. actually mean?
S: Specific. This is a goal element that often eludes us. We want to get better at this...do more of that...but what does "get better" or "do more of" actually mean? It is much easier to slip on goals when we do not have the specifics down.
M: Measurable. You want to provide yourself a way to track progress. If your goal is not measurable, how will you know if you are progressing and moving closer to attainment?
A: Attainable. Be sure your goal is one that you can actually achieve. You want it to be challenging but, be sure it is not beyond your scope of attainment. After all, if you set unrealistic goals that you will fail to reach, this would be a total bummer and would sort of make you feel doomed from the start in future goal setting!
R: Relevant. Be sure your goal is one that you actually want to achieve. If you set a goal to appease someone else, because your BFF has that goal, or for any other reason than your own desire to achieve it, what are the odds that you'll stick with it? Be sure your goal is for YOU and is based on your passions and hopes.
T: Timely. Be sure your goal attainment timeline is doable (if your goal is to learn a new language, it would be awfully hard to achieve this goal if you give yourself a month to language proficiency) and is not too lengthy (short and long-term goals are lovely, however, be sure you do not create too long of a timeline, or else that goal will most likely fall to the wayside).
Time for some examples...
NOT S.M.A.R.T. GOAL:
"I will read more."
SUPER S.M.A.R.T. GOAL:
"I will set aside 20 minutes each night before bed to read books that I have selected on my reading wish list app."
NOT S.M.A.R.T. GOAL:
"I will become a runner."
SUPER S.M.A.R.T. GOAL:
"In 90 days, I will run a 5K." (It would also be a good idea in a goal such as this to sign up for whatever the event may be ASAP. After all, a locked date=more motivation!)
Once you have a S.M.A.R.T. goal in mind. Consider small action steps to take in order to achieve this goal. Take the 90 days to 5K example above. You can't just sign up and show up kick butt if all you have been doing is binge watching Netflix and munching on fries for 90 days, right? So think of easy, small action steps that will get you to the point of 5K glory. Perhaps that includes downloading a running app or finding a running buddy? Maybe following specific running routine and diet plan? Or what about including a rocking running playlist and posting motivational quotes to your mirror? Whatever you think it will take, be sure you are specific. What? How? When? How long? With who? How will you track and measure?
It also might add to your motivation if you remind yourself of the purpose. Why do you want to achieve this goal? How will achieving this goal better your life? What will your life be like once you achieve this goal? Where can you go from there? Reflecting on why you are taking on this challenge and considering the impact of achievement is a total motivator! Be sure to keep these thoughts in mind in those times when your feeling a little less inspired.
So, there you have it. What S.M.A.R.T. goal will you set now? How are you going to go forth achieving it? I'd love to hear in the comments section!
Up next...A CONVERSATION WITH ANXIETY
A few books I recommend for setting and achieving goals....
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