Thursday, January 4, 2018

SMART Goal Setting for the New Year

Here we go again making New Year’s Resolutions and getting ready to break them! Why is it so easy to identify a need for change, yet so difficult to master the change? Could it be because the method we use to achieve the goal is not SMART? I’m guilty. Sometimes I wish for a change and employ no method at all, thus setting myself up for failure. That’s why I’m sharing this blog post, not so much for all of you, but to help me commit to setting SMART goals that employ effective methods to attain them.

What is a SMART goal?

A SMART goal is specific.

A SMART goal is measurable.

A SMART goal is achievable or attainable.

A SMART goal is realistic or reachable.

Finally, a SMART goal is timely or time bound. It has an end.

“I’m going to lose weight,” is not a SMART goal.

 “I’m going to lose 5 pounds,” is specific and measurable.

“I’m going to lose 5 pounds in two months,” is specific, measurable, achievable, and time bound.

“I’m going to lose 5 pounds in two months by tracking my calories daily,” is also realistic. It provides a specific goal that can be measured for progress, it can be done, it has an end, and it includes a plan, or HOW, for success.

Here is another example:

“I’m going to write a book this year.”

What is wrong with this goal? A year ought to be enough time to write a book, unless you don’t begin, or stay on task, or know what book you are going to write, etc.

Here is a much better example. You might call it SMART.

“I’m going to write a 200-page book about gardening in 2018 by generating 1500 new words per week. I will re-write the previous week’s word count weekly. I will use the final 3 months of the year for editing, proofing, and cover design.”

Can you see how the latter description might lead to greater success than the first? It’s absolutely attainable, and may even be accomplished more quickly than the timeline requires. And that’s okay! It’s specific including what I want to accomplish and how and when I plan to complete the task. It is measurable on a weekly basis, so I will know if I am ahead of or behind schedule. Because it is measurable, it can easily be broken down into daily goals or expanded to monthly goals.

There! I’ve just defined two SMART goals for you for the New Year! (I’m not really writing a book on gardening, so you can take that goal and run with it if you would like!)

Remember: Specific. Measurable. Attainable. Realistic. Timely.

What is your SMART goal for 2018? I'd love to hear about it in the comments below.

Running Granny Green encourages women, especially grandmothers, to gain greater fitness by providing tips and inspiration to insure long years of joyful grand-parenting. The cookie recipes are a bonus!

Happy Running!
- Carol aka Running Granny Green
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