From SMART Goals to COMET Goals: 5 Simple Steps to Truly Change Your Life
SMART Goals are a framework that’s been around for years. I’ve been teaching them since 2015 when I worked in the addiction field because SMART is a simple, 5-step process.
How to Make Your Goals SMART:
S - Specific
M - Measurable
A - Achievable
R - Realistic
T - Time-based
ICYMI, you can read up here on how to set up your goals in the SMART way.
Next, we moved on to what you should do before Setting Your Goals: How to Analyze Your Meaning & Motivation First.
By now, you may have noticed I’m spelling out a new acronym, COMET:
C - Consistency
O - Ownership
M - Meaning & Motivation
E - Effort
T - Toughness (but not toxic toughness)
I’m not trying to give you more work here, just more to think about. After setting up your goals for success by using the SMART method, put your goals through my COMET framework.
How to Set COMET Goals—Start with Consistency!
As yourself how you can work toward your goal through consistent daily action. What can you do consistently each day? Does your goal seem “too big” to do consistently each day? What if you break it down into smaller, bite-sized pieces? Then can you do it each day? Maybe you need to do something small first in order to make it consistent, then grow the habit to where you’re spending more time on it.
Take Ownership of Your Goals
Then, take ownership of this goal because it’s up to you—and no one else—to achieve it. Don’t make up a story about it that can hold you back. Don’t create excuses. Take ownership of what you do—and don’t—do as you work toward your goal.
find meaning & Motivation in your goals
Remember as you are setting your goals to find meaning in them so that you're able to stay motivated. What is motivating you? Is it the right motivation? For some, “I wanna stick it to my haters,” is a solid goal. For others, this is a mindset of revenge that will cause motivation to diminish quickly. Find what works for you! The idea is to be pursuing the right goal for the right motivations at the right time/place. You’re going to follow through because your goal means something to you.
Achieving Goals Takes Effort
This seems like a no-brainer. Goals require effort. Duh!
Let’s ask a basic question here: how much effort are you willing to put in? Let’s also assume there’s no wrong answer. If I have a goal, how much time will it take out of my schedule each day to work on it? How much of my energy? Ask yourself how much effort you can realistically put in.
The second part of this is just seeing if you’re willing and able to put in the effort.
The third aspect is simply creating boundaries. How much effort is too much? How much is too little? The idea here is to seek balance. We want to meet our goals. But we don’t want to burn out. We also don’t want to try too little either. That can show up as procrastination, for example.
Another great question to ask yourself is regarding effort is, simply, “What will it take to achieve this goal?”
Finally, We Arrive At Toughness
This is the final lens with which to view your goals: toughness.
- How tough is your goal?
- How tough are you?
We know achieving your goal will be tough. That’s why it’s a goal you’ve set. You’re stretching yourself. You’re rising to meet a challenge. You will achieve this goal—and you accept that it will be tough.
There will be days when you want to quit because you’re tired. That’s when a break is good. There are days you’ll want to give up because you’re frustrated. Frustration can be a sign you’re trying. It may even be a sign that you’re “almost there” or “about to have a breakthrough!” But it’s no reason to quit. I can be a sign to rest and regroup.
You never want to cross the line into toxic toughness. Achieving your goal shouldn't ever rob you of sleep, meals, or time with loved ones. Working hard is good! But grinding it out at the expense of our health is not.
More Toughness Questions
How mentally tough are you? It’s a great thing to ask, “Am I mentally tough enough to meet this goal?”
Think of some things you’ll tell yourself when achieving the goal seems hard. Write down some words of encouragement in the notes app on your phone. Remember to glance at them during your journey. Don't freak out if you fail, make a mistake, or backslide. Just pull out your notes of encouragement and try again.
If that still doesn’t work, remember that working toward a new goal you want to achieve will require some discomfort. It will also often require an outright letting go of old pieces of you. Give yourself credit for enduring the process, being patient, and working towards something that will take time, effort, and commitment!
If you LOVED this blog series about goal setting—from SMART to COMET goals—I’ve compiled all the blogs together into one PDF. I’ve also added a worksheet at the end to put all the questions from all the blogs into one convenient place. Download it here!
If you still need help with any of your SMART goal setting, reach out. If you want help with consistency, ownership, meaning, motivation, effort, and toughness—that’s what a coach is for! I’m happy to schedule your first, complimentary breakthrough session online today!