If you have read my blog for any length of time, you know I’m a big proponent of goal setting, of having written goals that you believe you can attain. I’ve talked a lot on these pages about SMART goals. which is a very common way to set goals for many people for their business, their personal lives, for whatever they are trying to achieve. So what, exactly, are SMART goals, and how do you set them? Well, quite simply, they are goals that are:
- Your goal has to be to accomplish X, where X is a specific thing/event/milestone, such as “I want to lose 10 lbs.”
- You must be able to objectively measure it. That means, you must be able to track your progress through time.
- You have to remain realistic. When I lost 95 lbs., I set out to lose 30. I reformulated my goal along the way, but always kept it attainable.
- If it isn’t relevant to you, then there is no reason for you to want to meet that goal. Make it very, very personal.
- You have to put some time specific items in – it’s a must. You need to have a way to measure your progress over time, and need to set an amount of time you are going to allow yourself.
Goal setting frankly freaks many people out. They don’t know how to do it. I will give you a tip, you actually need two things to set your goals. Don’t try to set them without these two critical things:
- A sheet of paper that is big enough that you won’t lose it immediately. Don’t use post-its.
- A pen. Not a pencil. A pen. PERMANENCE is PARAMOUNT.
You must write your goals down somewhere. There is a special term for goals that aren’t written down – they are called wishes. I keep wishing I will win the $50 million in the LottoMax, and I’m sad to say that my lottery wish hasn’t come true. Don’t make fitness wishes – make fitness goals.
I’m certain there are apps for this. Positive, in fact. If you’ve noticed, apps don’t do things for you. Just like you can’t get an app that vacuums your house, you can’t get an app that gets you off your couch. However, a simple piece of paper certainly can. in fact, you can write these goals down on many pieces of paper. You can tape your goals to your mirror, to your TV screen, to your fridge door, to anywhere you want to see them, often and be reminded, often. If you have an app for it, you have to dip into the app – and you will have a psychic resistance to do it if you aren’t getting near your goals. These can stare you right in the face. Tape up a picture of the current you with it – so that you can see the changes and progress you are making!
I really encourage you to set simple goals with the 5 rules above in mind. Goal setting always sound harder to me than it actually is – and now I can tell you that I’m quite happily pinging off many, many of the goals that I set for myself. Sometimes I shoot
too high. Sometimes I have to re-frame – for better or worse. But sometimes, I get it right in that sweet spot, and DAMN it feels good.