Most of my clients already have heard or read about the practice of goal setting and why it is important to their growth. Yet, when I ask about their goals or how many are actually written down, the usual responses are ,” I never thought about really doing that” or “They aren’t but I have them in my head”. Whether you want to live healthier, get out of debt, or start a new routine, it’s important to set yourself up for success.
If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know when you’re there?
The practice of goal-setting is not just helpful; it is a prerequisite for happiness. Psychologists tell us that people who make consistent progress toward meaningful goals, live happier more satisfied lives than those who do not. I’ve learned that many people never set goals, they make wishes.
The difference between goals and wishes are that goals are written down and they have an action plan.
If you don’t have written goals, let me encourage you to get started today making this a part of your lifestyle. If you would like to be more successful, it’s time to take a new approach.
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.– Lao-Tzu
- Specific—your goals must identify exactly what you want to accomplish in as much specificity as you can muster.
- Measurable—as the old adage says, “you can’t manage what you can’t measure.” If possible, try to quantify the result. List at least two indicators that you have reach this goal. You want to know absolutely, positively whether or not you hit the goal.
- Actionable—every goal should start with an action verb (e.g., “quit,” “run,” “finish,” “eliminate,” etc.) rather than a to-be verb (e.g., “am,” “be,” “have,” etc.)
- Realistic—you have to be careful here. A good goal should stretch you, but you have to add a dose of common sense.
- Time-bound—every goal needs a date associated with it. When do you plan to deliver on that goal. A goal without a date is just a dream.
With anything, I highly advocate for being flexible along the way. No need for rigidness in the process. While SMART goals provide a valuable process I do believe they can be updated and tweaked. We can not be sure of what challenges and opportunities will come our way, so it’s important to adjust your goals and evaluate your progress.
This image is a helpful visual to guide my clients through the process when getting started setting their goals:
When you take the time to write your goals down and get clear on what you are working for, there comes a great, fulfillment and inner peace in the tangible evidence and knowing that you’re taking positive action in transforming your life.
Need an ally? Or someone to hold you accountable? Check out Conscious Coaching for more information on how to work with me.
With Light and Love,