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The Importance of Setting Goals (part 2)


Yesterday I spoke a bit about the importance of having goals to work towards as it's all too easy to get bogged down by daily life and to forget about your dreams and aspirations. I finished off by asking you to come up with a few small goals that you would like to achieve.

Today, I'm going to talk about actually setting your goals.

How many New Year's resolutions have you set over the years? Probably hundreds - maybe even thousands. How many resolutions have you actually stuck to and achieved? I would say...very few? Am I right? If I had a £1 for every resolution my friends and family have made and failed to stick to over the years, I could have stopped working several times over but there is a simple explanation for this. No-one gives their resolutions (goals) enough importance.

So, you may be wondering why the word 'smart' is written at the top of the post. Your goals need to be SMART.

is for SPECIFIC. You must be very clear about what you want. Your goal may be to go on an exotic holiday but that's not enough. You need to be very clear (specific) about the location. You need to know the country, the area, the village/town, right down to the name of the hotel/villa. How long do you want to go for? A week to ten days is not specific enough. You need to know exactly how long this holiday is going to be.  You can put in as much detail as you like in fact the more detailed you make you goal the more likely you are to stick to it but you must be specific.

M is for MEASURABLE. You need to be able to measure your goals. So, for instance, it isn't enough to say that you want to lose some weight. You need to state exactly how much weight you want to lose whether it be 7 lbs, 2stones or 10 kilos. That way you will know how well you are doing towards reaching your goal and you will also know when you finally achieve it.

A is for ACHIEVABLE Make sure your goals are actually possible. There is no point in making a goal that you can never achieve - that only leads to frustration. Someone told me recently that one of their goals in life was to win the Lottery. They have as much chance as anyone has of winning the Lottery but it is a game of chance and therefore not something you can plan for in order to achieve it. Look at your goals and ask yourself if they are truly achievable.

R is for REALISTIC. For your goals to be achievable they have to be realistic. You may have had a dream for many years to go and live on the moon but be honest, that's not really likely to happen - at least not for a while. You may have wanted to be a prima ballerina all your life but if you're 95 with a zimmer frame it's not going to happen. On the other hand, your goal may be to become a multi-millionaire. That is realistic and achievable. It's not going to be easy but it is possible.

T is for TIME-BOUND. You need to set yourself a specific timescale in which to achieve your goal(s). It's no use saying within 2 months or before the summer or by Christmas. It needs to be much more specific than that. You need to have a date i.e. 21st March, 2012. Don't just leave it open-ended. Again though, be realistic. If your goal is to lose two stones you're not going to do it in a month (not realistically).

My advice is to write each goal down. Start off with what it is you want to achieve then make it SMART. You need to write it down rather than keeping it in your head. Writing it down gives it more importance as far as your brain is concerned and you're more likely to stick to it. In fact I suggest that you get yourself a really nice notebook which you turn into your goal journal. Put in as much detail as you like. The more detailed, the better.

Spend some time working on you goals and tomorrow, in the final part of this post, I will talk about how to go about achieving your goals.

Have fun and remember - as much detail as possible.

Denise x


A H Shimul said…
" SMART " I read your blog post. When i read your post "smart" i feel you are relay experimental. Keep it up.
Denise said…
Hi and many thanks for the comment. SMART just makes a lot of sense and it's nice and easy to remember too. Part 3 should be out very soon.

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