Well. Here we are....
We are already into December... How the heck did that happen? And, can you believe, there are only 24 more days left in 2022! It seems as thought this year has gone by much faster than the previous years have. Does this feel true for you too?
Last weekend, I traveled to Nashville and did a great weekend of self-development which involved a lot of self-reflection about this current year as well as planning and goal-setting for the upcoming year. It was a powerful event and life-changing event for me personally. Goal setting is definitely something I need to do more of and be more consistent to achieve my goals.
Let me first say that Goal-Setting is different than New Year's Resolutions. I just have to get that out of the way... I mean, New Year's is coming and that is "what to do" on New Year's Eve, right?! Well... NO. Especially NOT when only 8% of the population actually achieves their goals. A big piece of goal setting is actually breaking down the goal and identifying what needs to happen. And most resolutions are things like "lose weight" or "eat better" or "be more active." None of which are very detailed and let you know how or if you achieve it. There is NO PLAN in just a resolution.
BUT, you can take a resolution and give it a plan! How? By using a SMART goal format.
In case you are not familiar with SMART goals, I will break it down for you so you can see how to be more successful right off the bat in creating a goal.
SMART is an acronym for the following:
Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.
- Specific- Starts out with the WHAT do I want to accomplish. This might be answered as that resolution. For Example, "Lose weight" but turning that into a MORE specific desired outcome of "Lose 50 pounds."
- Measurable- Here is how we are tracking this goal or how we are able to determine when this goal is accomplished. For the example of losing weight, it might mean having a weekly weigh-in and documenting the weekly outcome in an app or on a poster board.
- Achievable- This is the HOW of getting that goal accomplished. This is the action step(s) to move in the right direction. So, eating more greens, drinking more water, cutting our sugar, exercising 3 times a week, etc.
- Realistic- Look at the goal and see if the outcome seems possible. Sometimes we have a BIG goal, which is ok, but it can be a bit overwhelming and might stop us from making progress if it is too big. So, looking at the goal of 50 pounds and asking do I need to make that smaller or is that just right? Maybe you might re-think and say 30 pounds is more realistic.
- Time-Bound- Here is where we put that time stamp on the goal. So deciding when can this goal be accomplished?Is 1 week or even 1 month realistic? Maybe 6 months is too long? What is a time frame that can push you but not be completely out of reach?
Ok. So, in summary, let's use the "Lose Weight" goal (or resolution) as our example
and fine tune it with using the SMART goal format:
GOAL: Lose 30 pounds in the next 3 months. This goal will happen through: weekly check-ins
that will documented in my food app and with being strict on cutting out sugar
and going to the gym 3 times a week for 30 minute weight sessions & 30 minutes of cardio.
So, looking at the goal above, it is specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound. If there are any elements that don't seem like they make sense (like maybe going to the gym 3 times a week for one hour isn't possible or maybe just questionable), you can adjust to working out 3 times a week from home or 2 times a week at the gym for weights and 3 times cardio at home, gym or outside. Feel free to adjust the pieces needed to make it work. At the beginning, we started out with losing 50 pounds. That might seem realistic for you. But for many, 50 pounds in 3 months is not realistic so changing that to 30 pounds is better. It might even be made more achievable by bringing that number to 15 or 20 pounds in those 3 months.
So, there you have it. Goal setting in the SMART way. :)
Then, when you meet one element of this goal, you can re-evaluate.
For example, the 3 months are up. How close to your goal did you get? What worked and what did not? Maybe the gym time did but the cutting out sugar did not. Maybe readjusting to adding in 3 cups of greens every day and limiting sugar is more fitting. OR if you achieve your goal early (YAY!) then it is time to move on to the next step.
Maybe your total weight loss goal is 50 pounds. You just lost 30 so your have 20 more to go. Depending on what worked or didn't in your original goal, you can decide if fine tuning your diet, moving more, or other tools are needed to accomplish losing those 20 pounds.
Goal setting requires a lot of specifics and reevaluating your goals and progress regularly to make adjustments as you go. It is much easier to accomplish your goals when you are regularly looking at the pieces you need to get there and adjusting accordingly.
And, if you are anything like me, you like to feel accomplished! It feels good to hit those targets! And, even if you don't quite hit it, you are going to be closer and know what is and is not working along the way. That, too, feels good!
What goals are you looking at setting for the new year?
Hit reply and share any of your goals or if you need help refining your goals!
I would love to help you out! <3
Here's to success in our goals in the New Year... 2023!