Hey all! Happy Monday 🙂 the best day of the week is here again!
Call me an optimist, but I truly believe that all people want to do well and be successful for themselves. Whether it be excelling in their job field, raising a family, losing weight, etc– people usually have the best intentions and a good drive. Where the problem lies, is in the execution. Most typically have a tough time with putting their thoughts, ideas, and plans into action. While I am no expert, and I am always looking for ways to improve, I believe I can help someone reading this take a stronger approach to their goals, the way they set them, and actually making them happen.
I remember in college learning about this idea of “S.M.A.R.T.” goals. Obviously the acronym is supposed to help you remember, but the idea has always stuck with me because it just made so much sense. Goals are broken down so specifically they’re almost impossible not to follow through with (unless you get lazy- which could be the case). So here’s the foolproof way to get started on your goal-setting:
The first step in goal-setting is making your goals quite specific. Saying, “I want to lose weight” or ‘I want to get in shape” is too general, and not sufficient for success. For this, you should list all the “W” questions and how they apply to your goal.
WHO- Who’s involved to reach this goal?
WHAT- What specifically are you looking for? (details, details!!)
WHERE- If there’s a specific location or event, list it here (may not be applicable)
WHEN- There should be some sort of time-frame. We’ll delve a little more into this in the “timely” section.
WHY- What’s your WHY? What’s the reasoning? There has to be a good reason why behind any goal.
For your goal, there needs to be some way to measure your progress. If you can measure your progress along the way, it’s motivating and can push you harder to keep going. Maybe you need to set some milestones on the way to your ultimate end-goal.
For example: my goal is to achieve 10 unbroken strict pull-ups by the spring. As of right now, I can only do 2 or 3 unbroken strict pull-ups. I write out some SMART goals, come up with a strength plan, and begin the program. Fast forward two months, while I can’t do 10 pull-ups yet, I am able to do 7. I know I am closer to my goal than I was before, because I have found a way for me to measure my progress on the way.
First, you need to assess your limitations and level of commitment. Your goal can’t be so far-fetched, or you’ll be set up for failure.
Be honest with yourself. How much time do you have to devote towards this goal? How hard are you willing to work? Are you willing to make serious, daily changes? If the goal and the commitment level don’t match up, it may be a good idea to revise the goal a little bit.
Say you want to lose 75 pounds. It’s going to be a long road, and going to take a hell of a lot of time, discipline, sweat, and tears. It’s not going to be easy. Maybe first, set a goal and tackle that first 25 pounds. Then after that, another 25 pounds, then after that, the last 25 pounds. This way, it doesn’t become overwhelming.
Here, you should take some deeper thought into the “Why” section from the Specific section. Why are you actually doing this? Is this goal worthwhile? Will it have positive effects in other aspects of my life? Will I care about this in 5 years? Will this goal be fulfilling your desires, or is there something else that’s more important?
Ultimately, the goals you set are totally personal, and can be whatever you want. Nobody else can come up with a goal for yourself, but yourself. But make sure they are important, will make you happy in the long run, will set you up for success, and are being done for you–nobody else.
All great goals have a time constraint. It is SOOO necessary. If there’s no time-cap, it’s not a goal, it’s just you saying that you want to do something.
Here’s some examples:
I want to lose 25 pounds by the summer.
I want to have 3 new clients in the next 3 months.
I want to get my website set up by January 1st.
I want a sub-6 minute mile by March.
When there is an ultimate end-date, you realize every day that you actually have to move your ass and get the work done, if you want to be successful (which I believe we all do).
I hope this article is the kick in the ass you didn’t know you needed. There’s really no way to get what you want in life without putting in this kind of effort. Grab a notebook and sit down. Take five minutes to think about what’s important to you. I know you’re ready to make a change!! Go through the steps, in detail, don’t leave anything out. Keep your writing somewhere where you can read it every day if you have to. Be your own motivation. Realize that nobody’s going to do the work for you. Talent and luck will only get you so far in life– hard work and relentlessness is so much more fulfilling. Think of how good it will feel when you finally reach that goal you’ve been dreaming about, and how proud of yourself you’ll feel.
Get after it!