Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Make sure your goals are "SMART"!

So... you are about one third of the way to when the majority of Americans abandon their resolutions for the year. Statistically, the majority of people who set New Year's Resolutions drop them by the third week in January. Some people may have set goals that were unreasonable or just are too busy to really make their life compatible to them. A tip for making a goal is to make it a "SMART" goal. The S.M.A.R.T. technique says to make your goals:

S - Specific
M - Measurable
A - Attainable
R - Realistic
T - Timely

Specific- A specific goal states in detail what you hope to accomplish. This is where the who, what, where, when and why part comes in. Specific goals are much more likely to be reached then general goals. For example, a general goal would be to "get fit". Where a specific goal may be to "be able to run five miles without stopping".

Measurable- Every goal should be measurable. How will you know when you've accomplished your goal? A goal to "loose weight" is much more effective when you make it measurable, "loose 15 pounds".

Attainable- Setting a goals that can be reasonably attained is much more encouraging then attempting something that you know you probably won't make, so you just give up on it after a few weeks. That doesn't mean your goal has to be small, sometimes the more challenging goals just need a more realistic time frame to accomplish them by. If you want to "eat healthy" so you abandon all the food you love and enjoy in your daily diet in one day... the odds of your lifestyle change being permanent are very low. A goal like "use whole grains whenever possible" or "limit myself to one sugary snack a day" or "eat more lean meats in place of high fat meats" is much more likely to stick around and actually lead to healthier eating habits.

Realistic- In order for a goal to be realistic it must be something you believe that you have the ability of achieving. It is not likely that a sedentary person, or "couch potato" will be able to run a marathon by the end of the month. It is more likely, however, with the proper training, and a few half marathons and 10K's on the way, that the marathon could be reasonably attempted in six months.

Timely- All goals must have a specific date in which you would like to achieve it. If you want to loose those extra pounds "eventually" it is more likely to get put on the back burner and forgotten about. However if you have a date marked on a calendar as a constant reminder of when you want to be there you are more likely to realize your goal.

There is hope!... It's not to late to look over your goals and make sure they are "SMART" goals. Make 2010 a successful year! Don't give up. Don't be like the majority of Americans. Make this year, the year you succeed. You can do it!! And so can I, hopefully! ;)

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