I know some that make setting a goal and sticking to it out to be harder than it seems. It's really not. All you have to do it set your goals the SMART way. Be SMART about it so that you can make the proper changes and take the proper steps in order for you to implement plans to achieve your goals.
For example, a general goal such as “exercise more” is not effective. A SMART goal is Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic, and Timely. “I will walk 20 minutes over my lunch break on Tuesdays and Thursdays” is a SMART goal.
Set Goals That Motivate You When you set goals for yourself, it is important that the goal motivates you. This means making sure that they are important to you, and that there is value in achieving them. Motivation is key to achieving goals. Set goals that relate to the high priorities in your life. Without this type of focus, you can end up with far too many goals, leaving you too little time to devote to each one. Goal achievement requires commitment. You have to adopt a "can-do" attitude in order for you to even begin achieving your goal.
To make sure your goal is motivating, write down why it's valuable and important to you. You can use your "WHY" to help you just in case you start to doubt yourself or lose confidence in your ability to actually make the goal happen.
Set SMART Goals You already know your goals have to be SMART, but do you know how to apply the rule? The simple fact is that for goals to be powerful, they should be designed to be SMART. There are many variations of what SMART stands for, but the essence is this – goals should be: • Specific. • Measurable. • Attainable. • Relevant. • Time Bound.
Set Specific Goals Your goal must be clear and well defined. Vague or generalized goals are unhelpful because they don't provide sufficient direction. Remember, you need goals to show you the way. Set Measurable Goals Include precise amounts, dates, and so on in your goals so you can measure your degree of success. Without a way to measure your success you miss out on the celebration that comes with knowing you have actually achieved something. Set Attainable Goals Make sure that it's possible to achieve the goals you set. If you set a goal that you have no hope of achieving, you will only demoralize yourself and erode your confidence.
Set Relevant Goals Goals should be relevant to the direction you want your life or career to take. By keeping goals aligned with this, you'll develop the focus you need to get ahead and do what you want. Set Time-Bound Goals You goals must have a deadline. Again, this means that you know when you can celebrate success. When you are working on a deadline, your sense of urgency increases and achievement will come that much quicker. Set Goals in Writing The physical act of writing down a goal makes it real and tangible. You have no excuse for forgetting about it. As you write, use the word "will" instead of "would like to" or "might."
Make an Action Plan This step is often missed in the process of goal setting. You get so focused on the outcome that you forget to plan all of the steps that are needed along the way. By writing out the individual steps, and then crossing each one off as you complete it, you'll realize that you are making progress towards your ultimate goal. This is especially important if your goal is big and demanding, or long-term.
Stick With It Remember, goal setting is an ongoing activity not just a means to an end. Build in reminders to keep yourself on track, and make regular time-slots available to review your goals. Your end destination may remain quite similar over the long term, but the action plan you set for yourself along the way can change significantly. Make sure the relevance, value, and necessity remain.
I really hope this helps when making plans and setting goals for yourself. It's a new year and the beginning of a new month so take charge of your life and plan accordingly.
Don't forget to Love Yourself.