If you aim at nothing, you'll hit it every time. ~Author Unknown
How true is this? Have you recently analyzed your goals in life? Could you list your top three priorities on a sheet of paper? How are you spending your time?
Goal setting is an exercise that requires our daily and weekly attention. I am very easily distracted, and I'm not alone. In today's age of technology there are so many things that battle for our time, and they often win... unless we have a set of goals in place. These goals need to address what's important in our lives and no one can create them but ourselves. We must internalize them and make them our own.
One of my biggest challenges in helping clients become more fit and lose weight is to help them understand the importance of goal setting. "I want to lose weight" This is a bad goal. "I want to be healthier." This is also a bad goal. Why are these bad goals? Because they don't give me enough information. They're not SMART goals:
Specific (what do you want to happen; why; how)
Measurable (how will you know when you've accomplished your goal?)
Attainable (are you in over your head or is your goal within reach?)
Relevant (is it your goal or someone else's; how does it fit in your life?)
Timely (to be completed next week, next month or next year?)
This is a criterion I learned while studying physical education in college. While it first seemed a little over the top, I now realize how essential these five components are to proper goal setting. So without a goal we will never accomplish what's important to us. The world distracts us so we need to focus. And when we establish a goal, it needs to have the five SMART components.
- write one short-term goal to be completed this week
- write one long-term goal to be completed within one month