This week I am excited to present on the topic of S.M.A.R.T. goals. Whatever you are seeking to accomplish, it is important to define what success means to you – to create some guidelines or parameters to organize, remain accountable to, and track your progress with the S.M.A.R.T. goal approach.
There are a few different meanings for the “S.M.A.R.T.” acronym. For the purpose of this example:
So, when you are setting a goal, you want it to satisfy these criteria. Is your goal: specific, measurable and achievable? Does it require you to take action? Is it realistic (you may not know if it is realistic until you have given the goal a good effort)? Have you created a deadline or timeline for this achievement?
I’ve seen some individuals look at S.M.A.R.T. goals as some kind of Pass/Fail situation. If you do this, you may end up feeling disappointed, embarrassed, or uncertain if you don’t achieve your perfect plan. Remember that this is YOUR PLAN – so if you don’t achieve your goal on the first try, evaluate what worked and what didn’t, and create a new S.M.A.R.T. goal. I’ll bet that even if you didn’t achieve your entire goal, you made some good progress – and all progress counts! (Also, If you exceed your goal with little challenge or effort, maybe the goal wasn’t set high enough).
If you’re struggling with achieving your S.M.A.R.T. goals, consider your commitment and motivation: Why is the goal important to you? How will reaching it positively impact your life? What commitment level do you have – on a 1 (low) to 10 (high) scale – to achieving your goal? The answers to these questions will help you know if you’re goal is really what you’re after or if you might need to do a little more “soul searching” to narrow down your priorities. I would suggest asking yourself these questions prior to committing to any SMART goal.
- Once a general goal has been identified, translate that into S.M.A.R.T. goal format.
- For the next (time interval)—–I will (action)——for (duration)_____.
- For example: For the next 2 weeks I will walk 2 miles 3 days a week.
- Focus on your motivations for achieving your goal. You may want to incorporate a reward system for achieving your small incremental goals.
- Solicit feedback from your most supportive friends if you need help on accountability.
- Realize that incorporating new habits or projects into your life takes time. Be gentle but firm with yourself and don’t give up!
Locke & Latham (2006) Goals can be applied to all areas of living – another advantage to learning this process! Practice, success, and positive experiences will enhance your ability to control outcomes across many domains of your life .*
About Coach Laura Link: Over the past 4 years, I have coached people on preventative health areas such as weight management, stress, tobacco cessation, nutrition, exercise, and back care (all areas where improved choices lead to improved health). I am certified as a Christian Life Coach via the Christian Coach Institute and will apply for Associate Certified Coach with the ICF in 2014.
“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. “-Psalm 16:11
*Locke, E. A., & Latham, G. P. (2006). New directions in goal-setting theory. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 15, 5.
My mission at iLifebalance coaching is to inspire individuals to be the best, most actualized person they can be. The lives God has envisioned for us are so much more potent and powerful than lives that are going through the motions. What sets me apart from other coaches in this niche is my enthusiasm and passion for assisting individuals along this journey in addition to my Christian values and beliefs.
**Please leave your comments, questions, experiences with setting goals, and what you learned from this post below!! We look forward to your interaction on this topic. I will stick around to reply to your posts!**