Setting goals that work
Having aspirations is a wonderful thing. We should all strive to better ourselves and realise our dreams. However, you need to keep your feet on the ground. If you set yourself the goal to learn how to play the saxophone with the aim of joining a jazz band, touring New York clubs and by next year, you may be overstretching yourself a bit – and that can be the exact opposite of empowering.
Although you may be a great talent, it is doubtful that you’d meet that goal, and realising that at some stage may put you off playing the saxophone altogether. Which would be a shame.
The fix: Set SMARTER goals
Research shows you are 80% more likely to achieve your goals if you:
- Make them SMARTER.
- Write them down.
- Make a contract to achieve them.
What are SMARTER goals?
Here are my top tips
- Be SPECIFIC - don't say 'lose weight' or 'get fit'. What does that even mean? What is more effective is to say 'lose 7lbs' or 'run 5K'.
- Make them MEASURABLE. How can you tell you've done them? Weight, waist circumference, minutes run, distance covered, weight lifted, etc.
- Make them ACHIEVABLE. As with the jazz playing, make sure it's something that you can actually do.
- Make them REALISTIC. Don't try to run before you can walk, or you'll be setting yourself up for failure. Set yourself up for success by making your goals realistic - do they fit with your lifestyle, time, other commitments.
- Make them TIMEBOUND. By when are you going to achieve them? By the end of January? By Christmas? Make a date and pop it in your diary.
- Make the goal EXCITING! No one wants to do something dull. Make it exciting. If it's not exciting in itself, think what will be exciting if you achieve it? Being able to run 5K, means you might be able to join a running group, for example.
- REWARD yourself for achieving your goal. What will you do if you achieve your goal? While the goal might be rewarding, actually having something to aim for can be very motivating. What would you choose?
So, armed with this knowledge, what is going to be your SMARTER goal for this year? Let me know! Get in touch if you fancy a bit of accountability.
I'll wait to hear from you!