Happy February! How are the New Year and goal setting working out so far? Most people who make New Year’s resolutions have abandoned them by this point which is what has motivated me to write this series of goal-setting articles. The best way to achieve what you want in life is by setting goals and not merely making a resolution.
This is part two of my series on setting goals and how to use the SMART acronym to achieve them. Let’s begin with a quick recap from last month: “S,” the first letter of the acronym, reminds us that any goal you set must be very specific. What do I want or hope to accomplish with this goal? Why is it important to me? Who is or can be involved with this process to help me achieve my desired outcome? Remember, when it comes to your life, you are not an island. Reach out to the people around you and ask for pointers, mentorship or guidance to help you on your journey. Answering those questions will set the path for your new goal.
“M,” the second letter, relates to how you measure your progress. When it comes to your goals, you must be able to measure where you are and where you’re headed. It’s easy to say, “I want to lose weight this year, drink more water or make more money,” but you must use metrics to see if you’re making progress? You’ll look at the scale, measure your water and look at your bank deposits. Set milestones along the way to ensure you are on track or to see that you need to do more.
For example, when it comes to drinking water, it is generally recommended that the average person should consume an amount in ounces that equals in number to half their body weight in pounds. A person weighing 180 pounds should drink 60 ounces of water daily. While that seems daunting, keep in mind that you can build up to that amount over time. However, you need to record how much you are taking in now and work daily towards increasing your consumption. Typically, we underestimate the amount of water we drink. Carry a water bottle, know its capacity and make an effort to track your intake.
Using a specific metric for any aspect of your life, no matter what you’re trying to accomplish, will force you to stay focused.
The real purpose of goal setting is to keep you uncomfortable but on a path to achieving your best life. The status quo may keep the stress levels low but change happens with added pressure. You have to set goals, ensure they are defined and use some measurable to succeed. Keep working your plan but stay focused.
Come back next month when we will define more about SMART goals!