With the new year here, have you decided to make a change but aren’t sure how to get started? Maybe you want to lose a few extra pounds, or you want to start that fitness routine you’ve been promising yourself you’d start. Well, it’s time to make that commitment and see it through. I’m sure you’ve been through a lot of failed resolutions.
So, how do ensure your changes are achieved? GOALS! Without them, there’s nothing to strive for. It’s so important to set effective goals that produce results. Goals are motivational and they will help set you in motion.
Use the S.M.A.R.T. System
When it comes to goal setting, the S.M.A.R.T. system is proven to yield results. This acronym first appeared in a November, 1981 issue of Management Review, in an article titled “There’s a S.M.A.R.T. way to write management’s goals and objectives.” by George Doran.1 The System is based on the following criteria, and every goal must be defined so that it meets these:
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Achievable
R – Realistic
T – Timely
Specific — Your goals should be concise and attainable. Define your who, what, when, where, why, and how. Instead of, “I’m going to exercise more,” specify “I’m going to burn 200 calories every day by doing ______.”
Measurable — Frame your goals in such a way so you can measure your progress. Use a Fitbit or other tool that will keep track of your steps or miles for you.
Achievable — Determine what resources you’ll need to achieve your goals. Do you have the right tools, equipment and anything else you might need?
Realistic — Perhaps there is a book on bike racing that you have in interest in reading. Ask yourself if it’s relevant to your mission. If so, dig in! If it’s not, then you might want to keep it on the bookshelf for now and read something else that is more relevant to your short-term goals.
Timely — Give yourself a reasonable time frame for achieving your goal. Are you going to achieve your goal in the next week, month, year or five years? Deadlines are important; there has to be a finish line.
Take these criteria seriously and you will see results. Another helpful hint is to write your goals down on paper, or create digital notes on your phone. This will ensure you have them recorded so you can refer to them often.
Get started! Put yourself on the fast track and you’ll be hitting your mark before you know it!