Update: I originally wrote this blog in June of 2017. I’ve now edited it on December 5, 2021.
Each of us is the architect of our own destiny.
We create our future. The choices we make create our reality. The actions we take create that destiny. No one else does it for us. There's no one to blame when we fail—only ourselves. We did the hard work to succeed. It is up to us to create our lives, whether mediocre or awesome. We are the architects.
When you create your goals, make sure they’re SMART!
Make Your Goal Specific
"I will write 90 blog posts in 90 days," is about as specific as it gets for me. For you, maybe you can break it down even more with something like, "I will lose 1-2 pounds a week by doing cardio four times a week as well as three weight training days. I will run one 5K race. I will have a meal replacement shake at lunch time and a 20-minute walk around the neighborhood each weekday at work."
That is pretty specific. What you don't want to do is say, "My goal is to will lose weight." Or worse, "I just want to lose weight." That's a want, not a goal.
Second, you must make your goal measurable.
My goal is very measurable -- 90 blog posts in 90 days. When we measure a goal, we’re talking about the amount. How much will I… (write, run, do yoga, meditate, etc). Or “how many?” As in, “How many pounds will I lose?” When we measure, we are looking at something by the numbers so that we will know when the goal will be accomplished. It’s done when I… Run a total of 90 miles in three months.
Make your goal achievable
I can write 90 blog posts in 90 days. But I won’t make an unrealistic goal like writing three blogs a day. I’d be setting myself up for burnout and failure with that!
Let’s say weight loss is your goal. Creating a goal like, “I want to lose ten pounds this week,” is not achievable. It’s also not healthy. Be driven, but don’t burn yourself out. Take a realistic look at the time and energy you have. Stay within what’s possible and stretch yourself a little.
The “A” in SMART can also mean attainable. What goal can you attain? Or what goal can be agreed upon if it’s a group or family goal? I can easily attain a 1-pound loss each week. This is actually one of my goals. I know that’s healthy and I know I can accomplish that with diet and exercise. I know I have the time and dedication to make healthy meals as well as make fitness a priority. I could say I will lost 2 pounds a week, but is that attainable? For example, if that becomes attainable for me, I can change my goal to losing 2lbs/week. But let me start out at just one a week first!
SMART Goals Are Always Realistic & Relevant
I’ve already touched on SMART goals being realistic. So let’s add relevant to the mix. Is my goal relevant to my life and congruent with the bigger picture? Do I know my “why” for having this goal? I am aware that attaining this goal will add to my life in the following ways…(and then list them). Also ask yourself if this is the right time / place for your goal.
Finally, SMART Goals Are Time-Based
How long do you give yourself to achieve the goal? Is your time frame both specific and realistic? How much time can you dedicate to it?
A goal that doesn't work in a realistic time frame is, "I will raise my credit score by 200 points in a month." The world doesn't work that way. The time frame must be realistic. It must be something you can commit to taking into account the time you have available in your schedule.
If your goal is amazing, you’ve niched it down to be super-specific, you’re able to measure it, you know you can achieve it, it’s relevant to your life, and now you get to decide—how long will it take to reach it?
So what's your SMART goal? Share it in the comments!
Need help setting SMART Goals? Want someone to help you along and hold you accountable? I do that as a coach! I’m available tor your first complimentary session over Zoom.