Think about the last big goal that you have reached in your lifetime. It could be a promotion, a personal best, or even a task that you were proud to complete. Think of how hard you worked to get there and how rewarding it felt to literally or figuratively check off that box. What did you have to do to be able to achieve that goal and make it a reality? It’s likely you put in a lot of hard work and intentional effort to achieve it. But, it’s also likely you put in that effort because it was important to you, because that accomplishment had the potential to impact your life for the better in some capacity, big or small.
Goal Setting 101
If you haven’t heard of a SMART goal, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered! SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time Bound. When creating a goal, it can be beneficial to think about the process that it takes to accomplish your goal. The SMART framework can be used to help you better understand the actions that need to be taken in order to get you to your goal in a timely manner.
The more specific and measurable your goals are, the easier it is to track progress. If you set a goal to become healthier, it becomes challenging to define success. You need to clearly define what it means to become healthier. Does becoming healthier mean becoming more active? Or maybe you’d like to achieve a specific feat inside the gym. You can get more specific by breaking your goal down and adding detail to clarify your intentions. For example, you could set a goal to exercise for 30 minutes a day, 4 times a week. Or, maybe you want to focus on a nutritional goal such as cutting out fast food, cold turkey, to achieve the greater goal of finding a healthier you.
If your goals are unattainable or unclear, the process to achieving those goals can be daunting, and might even lead to failure before starting. Keeping track of smaller goals, AKA micro goals, that lead to bigger goals can help us feel even more successful along the way!
Setting Goals that Matter to You
Goals are actually more common in our lives than we might realize. They can be as simple as what we want to accomplish in a day or the items on our 9-5 to-do list. However, when we consider setting goals that are important to us and have the capacity to change and challenge us as humans, it’s important to take some time to think and reflect! Take a moment to pause and reflect before setting your specific goals. What do I crave as an individual? How can achieving a goal impact my life? What will I gain as a result of accomplishing this goal? How will I feel when I complete the goal? It’s important to have big goals in our life that push us further than we thought we could go. Take some time to write out your thoughts on paper, then use the SMART method to help set yourself up for success in crushing the goals that matter.
3 Tips for Success in Setting Goals that Matter
- Write it Down
After you set your goals, write them down! This way you have a tangible list of goals that you can reference back to if needed. Studies show that writing your goals down in a place that you will see everyday increases the likelihood that you will make those goals happen!
- Get an Accountability Buddy
Pick a buddy, or heck, pick a few buddies! Find people in your life who have your best interest in mind but will help hold you accountable while you work toward achieving your goals. Whether your accountability buddy is your partner, your friend, or even a coach you’ve built trust with. One-size does not fit all when it comes to accountability buddies, meaning you might find it helpful to have different buddies for different goals.
- Define Your Why
Why are you chasing this goal? Having a clearly defined reason and purpose can help keep you grounded and motivated as you work towards achieving your goal. On the days when you’re challenged, and feel tempted to take the easy path – you can refer back to your why to keep you committed towards your progress.
Ready, Set, Goal!
Goals help shape our success. While everyone defines success in their own way, you are the only one who can set goals that really matter to YOU! Use these tools to help bring the change and improvements you seek into your life with actionable and SMART goals. Good luck, you’ve got this!