Monday, January 4, 2010

How to Set Goals for the Coming Year ~ Get SMART!

As the  New Year is upon us, most of us tend to experience that sudden burst of motivation as resolutions force us to examine our lives. Many of these resolutions include everything from losing weight to working out more to stop smoking to spending more time with the family and the list goes on.  Sadly though, many of our New Year's resolutions are short-lived and we find ourselves right back at the same book, the same chapter and on the same page of our lives from the year before.  If you are like most people, your intentions are good and you really, really want to do it this time.  To increase your chances for success consider these recommendations for goal-setting......

1.  Choose the Right Resolution for the Right Reason ~ You really need to give some thought to what you want and why you want it - what is this particular resolution about anyway? Is this something that you want to do for you 'or' are you doing because.... - Well, whatever the reason you must be specific.  You must define your goal - say it or write it down.  For example:  instead of saying "I will exercise more" ~ you would be more specific by saying " I will walk 30 minutes 3 times a week" (OK, I will walk for 30 minutes on Sunday, Wednesday and Friday).

2.  Create a Plan ~  Now that you have set your goal you must create a plan for how you intend to accomplish that goal.  You have to identify the exact steps that you plan to put into motion to get to where you want to be.  With any reasonable plan, you will most likely make significant progress as you move closer to your goal.

3.  Stay on Track ~  Reaching your goal may not be easy; it probably will not happen overnight; it most likely will require some discipline on your part.  Do what you need to do to stay on track.  Create a "To Do List" or some kind of daily action plan.   If you need outside help ~ get it!  Consider working with someone that can motivate you like a really good friend or a personal trainer.

Whatever your goals for the coming year or for goals at any point in time in your life you must  ~Know What You Want and you have to know How to Get There ~ and you must be Smart about it...


 S ~ Be SpecificBe exact and specific about what you want to accomplish. Rather than saying "I'm going back to school this year," say "I am going to today to sign up for XYZ college."  Or instead of saying "I want to eat healthier," say "I will begin go eat four fruits and vegetables every day."

M ~ is for Measurable.  It is much easier  to know if you are successful, if your goals include specific guidelines, such as "for an hour each day" or three times per week."

A ~ be Action -Oriented. Your goals should include actions you can take  and behavior changes that you can make.

R ~ is for Reasonable.  Just take small steps at first.  One little baby step at a time and then build on your successes.

T ~ is for Time.  Whatever your goal may be it should be set in a framework of how much can I do this, how often do I need to do this, how long will it take for me to do this.  All in the essence of time.  

Putting all of these things together with a little 'get-up-and-go' on your part you will surely be able to accomplish the goal that you have set for yourself.   How about this:  Instead of  saying "well  I am gonna try and walk a little bit  more this year" ~ Say -- "I am going to start walking three times a week on Sunday, Wednesday and Friday beginning January 3rd.

To Your Continued Health and Success !
Miss Julia

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