Goals don’t have to get you down. So many people neglect to set goals because they get hung up in the process. If this is you, consider these easy techniques to get you started.
Goals are most valuable when they have “teeth”. There is a common practice to evaluate the strength of your goals by checking it against the “SMART” criterion:
- Is it Specific – This usually has to do with giving your goal some real clarity; “lose 5 pounds by the cruise” vs. “lose some weight”
- Is it Measurable – How will you know you’ve reached it?
- Is it Achieveable – Can you actually do it? What help or support might you need to get there?
- Is it Realistic – This one can be tricky. There are stretch goals, and there are pie in the sky goals that you’ll never reach. Setting goals to high is bound to end in failure. Try to look at reality first when setting your goals.
- Have you assigned a Time to complete it? – Time marches forward, and if you can attend to the details of time and see your goal realized over time, you’ll be much more likely to stay focused and meet it.
Setting goals can be as easy as brainstorming a list, reviewing it and assigning whether each idea is a short or long term goal, and then assigning a time to complete it.
Those of you who feel you can “keep it in your head” may be surprised to know that studies have shown an actual shift in brain activity that happens during the process of writing things down. It not only builds a bridge in your brain, it gives you a visual cue for memory – and does increase your ability to retrieve the information. When a goal is more accessible and top of mind, you are much more likely to take little actions regularly to make the goal happen.
Give it a try.
Choose one area: yourself, your family, your home, or your work and write out what you’d like to accomplish, by when. (Assigning a period of time or deadline really improves your ability to actually follow through on your goal. As a reminder, post it in a prominent place to keep it top of mind as you move through your days.
I’d love to hear about your successes and challenges with your own goal setting. What happens for you? Drop me a note.