By Jamie Kirk
Progress, not Perfection should be our goal. Why is it that we tend to strive for perfection and get disappointed when that goal is not met. Most of us are closer to the failure portion of the barometer anyways (if we listened to that little devil on our shoulder called low-self esteem). Following these five steps in a SMART model should help us get on track towards our #summertime roadmap, whatever that may be.
When we plan out our goals, we are setting up selves up for disappointment if we don’t have a number in mind, a destination or purpose in mind. Yes, I get it “shoot for the moon, and at least you will be among the stars.” That’s a load of crap. For our purposes, we need to set goals that are specific. Generally goals or getting “close,” is not gonna cut it to get us where we need to be. Your goals should be clear and concise, black and white. Don’t leave any room for misinterpretation. Example – Run at least 5 miles a week from June to October.
That which is measured gets improved. Whichever goals we set, we have to be able to measure it against something. Be it the past, be it a friend, or just a stat we read about in a magazine. The measurement looks like something that you can quantify. Something that you will provide a status of how close and/or how far you are to your goal. Example – I want to reduce calorie count by 500 a day for 30 days.
This is obviously the hardest one. If you are 6’2, it is unlikely you will weigh 162 pounds and have single digit body fat. That is not attainable. The goal-setting process should indeed stretch you, but not to the point that you are stressed out about not even getting close to your goal. Make sure the goal is something that you feel is achievable through your blood, sweat, and tears, and NOT only achieved if you were bleeding, sweating and crying the process. Example – I would like to learn a foreign language before the holiday season to prepare for my trip abroad.
Be kind to yourself. Don’t overextend yourself. Being realistic means is this in the realm of reality for you, based on your situation. If money is a challenge right now, maybe traveling to three countries this summer is out. Having a goal to be married and have a June wedding, in mid-June and you’re single? Ummmm, likely not realistic. Keep in mind having a goal that is attainable and realistic are similar, but the difference is that you will suffer a bigger blow to your ego or pride, etc. if the goal never even had a chance. Example – I would like to take my dog for longer walks in the evening, I can’t because of my time crunch in the morning.
Choose goals for yourself that work with the timing of your life. Continue to choose goals for yourself that represent your lifestyle, your family, and your working environment. Sometimes the intent of the goal is timely, but the execution of the timing may not work out. Make sure the timing of things you want to achieve works for you. Not your neighbors, not your mate, not your kids, but for YOU. Example – I am going to start a neighborhood watch for my community because of the high crime in the warmer months in my area.
I think this SMART strategic model is an excellent way to do a deep dive and inventory of your life and see if you are on the right track. SMART personal goals really do work as long as you stay committed to the process. Oh, and the process contains the attributes above. It’s good stuff, when you are able to set a goal, remain diligent to your goal and eventually hit your goal. As this summer begins to hit full force, don’t wait another day to lay out your planned attack on your goal setting.