Remember this? If you’ve attended any goal setting classes you have probably seen it before. Your goals should be:
A: attainable or action-oriented
T: Timely/to a set date
So if we know how to set SMART goals why the hell aren’t we kicking them right out of the park?
I think it’s because they are starting at the wrong point.
Most goal setting processes start by assuming you know what your goal is but that’s not always true, is it? You just know that something has to change. You might have an idea about your goal but often it’s foggy. Trying to pin the fog down using some sort of goal setting formula is almost impossible.
So what can you do? You can approach it differently.
You can kick your goals in three simple steps.
1. What do you want? For example, you want to be fit. What does that really mean? Do you want to be capable of running a marathon or would you be happy if you could keep up with the kids? Do you want to bounce out of bed every morning feeling energetic or is there more to it? What does it feel like?
2. What gets you motivated? It is here you’ll find the energy you need to propel you forward. When you know and understand your reasons for wanting to kick that goal it becomes an energy that helps keep you going. Are you motivated by wanting to look fabulous for a reunion – OK, probably more by the jealous looks you’ll get from that bitchy group when they see how fantastic you look. Only you know what is really driving you. Be clear about it. Let it burn for you. And power you on.
3. What’s important to you? Be honest with yourself. If you’re going to aim for something it has to really matter to you, AND you can’t aim for something if you know that there is something more important that really conflicts. So don’t aim to go for a walk every morning if you know that it’s more important to get the kids off to school first. Don’t have your hair coloured when the grey hairs start to show if you believe that natural is best. Work out your values and stick to them.
These three steps all involve a lot of thinking about your goal – feeling it, picturing it and living it in your mind. They are all based on your values and desires. That’s how our sportspeople are so successful. They see themselves sinking that putt or kicking the ball straight through the goal posts and that’s what actually happens. It’s as though the mind and body start to work together.
Think about your goals. See them, feel them – do it every single day. Then they become real. No more fog!
Now if you want to go SMART with your goals you can because you know what you really want.