January is one of my favorite times of the year. I usually get gloomy during the holidays but January always manages to pull me out of my funk. A fresh new start for goals I want to complete, life changes I want to make and a new planner with cute pens to organize my life. What? A girl has gotta have her Erin Condren planner, what can I say.
This year, I wanted to share tips that I’m using to help ensure my 2015 goals come to fruition and make this the most successful year yet. By using the SMART technique I’m already having more progress then I had anticipated.
- Specific- Make your goal as specific as you can. Saying I want to lose 30lbs is a great goal, especially if it will benefit your health like most weight loss usually does. But, how are you going to get there? “I want to lose 30lbs by eating more veggies and walking 10,000 steps a day” is definitely more specific. And it may actually be one of my goals so no judging. 🙂 Being as specific as possible will give you enough details to help you come up with a valuable plan to achieve your goal.
Measurable- Can I measure my goal in outcomes? A goal like losing weight is definitely measurable because either the scale is lower or it isn’t. Counting your steps along with your veggie intake is also something that can be measured.
Achievable- Is this goal something you can achieve? Big goals definitely keep us going and I am one of the biggest dreamers you’ll ever meet. But it’s sometimes best to make sure your goal is something that can be achieved within a reasonable amount of time to ensure your momentum will stay until the goal is complete. What reasonable steps can you take to achieve your goal in a timely manner?
Realistic- Is your goal something that is realistic for you? As much as we may feel the need for a stretch goal, it’s also important to make sure our goal is something that can be realistically completed for our current stage in life. This doesn’t mean be negative at all but optimistic about where you are and what you can accomplish. Losing weight is a realistic goal and so is developing healthy habits. But losing 50 instead of 30lbs is something that definitely needs to be looked at realistic. As much as it’s important to stretch ourselves out of our comfort zone, it’s still important not to set ourselves up for failure.
Time Bound- Goals are dreams with deadlines. Sure it would be great to lose weight or write that book you’ve been putting off. Taking up a new hobby sounds great! So does spending time with people you care about. Okay, great. Let’s give that goal a timeline. As for losing weight, you may say “This month, I will lose three lbs.” By giving it a deadline, you now know you have exactly one month to achieve this task. Giving yourself a deadline allows you to utilize your time better to align with your goals and priorities. Last year I decided to cancel my cable subscription in order to concentrate on my upcoming school year and read more. I was not only able to finish 68 books this year but I also made the Deans list after my first semester back at school in four years. Prioritizing your time towards your goals really helps and makes them achievable.
What technique do you currently use for starting ( and finishing) goals. Stay tuned for part two in my series in goal setting where I provide a few more tips and suggestions into making 2015 your year!