Uberlibrariana


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Setting Goals: "SMART"



I going to talk a little about setting goals today. It's important to know how to do it right, or else you're just setting yourself up for a frustrating life. We don't want that...

There's a fun acronym to help you when setting goals: SMART.

It stands for:

Specific
Measurable
Attainable
Realistic
Timely


So let's talk about each of these:
Specific
You want to be specific when setting a goal. Often you hear someone say, "I want to make more money", or "I want to lose weight", or even, "I want to run faster." Well, that's great, but how will you know when you have reached your goal?

Try being more specific: "I want to make $1000 more per month", "I want to lose 10 pounds", "I want to run a sub 10:00 mile." Which brings me to the next point...

Measurable
When designing your goal you want to be able to measure when it's completed. You'll know you've reached your weight loss goal of 10 pounds when you are 10 pounds lighter. 

Attainable
While I encourage setting high goals, it's also important to choose a goal that you can actually reach. For example, I'm 37 years old, and have had 2 children. I have probably missed out on my chance to be a Victoria's Secret model. If I made that my goal, I would be constantly disappointed because I never attained my goal. Also, I have never in my life been a smaller size than a 4, so if I made my goal to lose weight and become a size 0, it would probably just frustrate me.

Realistic
Being realistic also helps you avoid great frustration. If you are 100 pounds overweight, your long term goal may be to lose 100 pounds, and that's great. It is attainable. However, if you set your goal to lose 100 pounds in 1 month, you're not being very realistic.

Timely
It's always a good idea to include a date by which you'd like to reach this goal. It's easy to say, "I'm going to earn $2,000".... but when? In your lifetime? In a week? Know the *deadline* - it makes a difference. 

So, to put this in practice, I'm going to list a few of my goals:

Goal #1: I want to reach 139 pounds/size 4-6 (depending on brand) by September 1.

S: Is it Specific? Yes
M: Is it measurable? Yes
A: Is it attainable?Yes it is.
R: Is it realistic? Yes, it is.
T: Yes, there is a time set (my daughter's first birthday).

So, does this give you an idea of a "smart" (hee hee) way to set goals? I would love to hear your goals in the comments. Come on, share with us!

(Or you can hop on over to Sarah Fitness on Facebook and chat about your goals while you get some motivation from others!)

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