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Sunday, January 7, 2018

How to Make S.M.A.R.T. Goals and Keep Them!




The end of a year brings reflation on the days and months that have passed us by, it gives us a moment to contemplate on what type of person we were and how we treat those around us.

We can ponder and ask ourselves, how did we use all our time? Did we focus on areas that were important or meaningful to us? Did we take the opportunity to learn and grow from difficult moments and events that occurred this last year?
With this reflation comes the hope of a new year and of a new you!

The start of a new year means a new outlook, new opportunities, new lessons to learn, new growth within ourselves, new friends to make, new habits to create,  or to put it simply, it is a new beginning.

So one of the best ways to start this new chapter in the book of our life is to set some goals.

And as I know all too well, it is so easy to come up with goals for the New Year but it is much harder to keep them past February. 

So let’s work together and set in place the best plan to make our new goals and keep them all year long!

Step number one; we need to set some S.M.A.R.T. goals.



And I would also like to add, that whatever you pick, make sure you are truly motivated and excited about creating that new habit. Because there are going to be days that you will find it hard to keep your goal or there may be times when you revert back to your old habit, so you need to be motivated and inspired to pick yourself back up after those bad days and get back on track to completing what you set out to do!

If you haven’t heard of SMART goals, it is a way of setting a goal that is robust and motivating goals.

Now there are some variations of what SMART stands for, but basically, this is what it comes down to;

Specific

Measurable

Attainable

Relevant

Time Bound

Let’s break it down a little bit more so that we can increase the likely hood of completely our goals.

Specific

When choosing a goal this is no time to be vague, to set yourself up for success set clear and precise goals. An example would be instead of saying “I’m going to get in shape this year” you would say “I’m going to run a 10k  this year” Just by setting a precise and specific goal you are already one step closer to that new you in this new year!

Measurable

This is the step is where you make your action plan! You will break your goal down into exact amounts, dates, smaller goals and so on. By doing this, you will be able to stay of course in making your new habit, it also helps if you do steer off course a little you can very easily look at where you need to be and adjust your timeline.

Attainable

For me I think of this step as walking a tightrope, if you lean too much on the “too easy” side you will fall off and not really experience any true personal growth or learning. But if you lean too much on the “not realist” side again you will fall as you have just set up yourself for failure.
So you will need to do some personal self-reflection and be honest with yourself, are you challenging yourself but it is still reachable.

Relevant

Whatever goal you set it should be relevant to your life and what is important to you. If you keep your goal aligned with your dreams for the future you will be more motivated to keep at it and make the changes you need to complete your goal.

Time Bound

Goals must have a timeline otherwise they are just a wish that will fade away with the raising of the sun. By setting a timeline you will be able to see how far you have come and where you need to go. And you will be able to celebrate each milestone along your journey.

Setting SMART goals will give you a solid start to all you want to accomplish. 
But there are a few other things that you can do to make sure that you make your dreams a reality.


Tip #1 - Make goals that motivate you

You need to feel inspiration and excitement when you think of your goal and what it will mean to your life when you complete it. Because if your goal holds no value to you or you have little interest in the outcome, when it starts to become a struggle to keep true to the changes you are making in your life, you need to be able to remember that excitement you felt and get inspirited to keep on going!

Tip #2 – Tell Someone

Where it is just a few close friends or family or you share it with everyone and anyone, by telling someone will increase the likelihood that we will stick with it. They will help hold us accountable, and motivated to keep going!

Tip #3 – Identify the Obstacles 

There will be obstacles that you will need to overcome to reach your goal. Sit down, identify what they are and then make a plan to overcome them. Here is an example, if your goal is to run a 10k race this year, one obstacle that will most likely come up is the weather! On days you have planned to train it may raining,  too cold or maybe too hot depending on where you live. So what can you do overcome this? You will have to think about what is best in your life but you could run indoors on a treadmill, or maybe already have appropriate workout clothing for whatever weather you may experience. Maybe you will have to have a few backup workouts planned that may not be going for a run but will help strengthen your muscles. 

By identifying obstacles that may come up and make plans to overcome them you laying another strong stone in your solid foundation to self-improvement and just one step closer to reaching your goals.

Tip #4 - Don't be afraid of failure

We should not be afraid of failure as it is often an inevitable step on the journal to reach one's goal. To quote the great master Yoda "The greatest teacher, failure is." When we fail or have a setback we need to see it for what it really is, an opportunity to learn, to be wiser and begin again stronger and better than before.

Tip #5 - Use Mindfulness to support you reach your goals

When one practices mindfulness you are aware of your actions and how they affect your life instead of just living on autopilot.  This is a great way to help you reach your goals because as you become more aware of your action you will be able to recognize when you are moving closer to your goal or getting off track. As you are truly present you will be able to get the resources you will need to achieve your goals. Any other great thing about practicing mindfulness is that it will help you get over any negative feelings that you may feel is you do get off course. It is good to learn from one's mistakes but it is not good to wallow in those negative feelings. When one practices mindfulness, you learn to recognize those feelings and where they are coming from and why but then you move on, taking only the lessons you learned with you into the present moment.   

Tip #6 – Write it down

Just the simple act of writing your goal down makes it real and tangible. You are also less likely to forget it. When you are writing your goal down, be sure make sure to use strong and powerful language like “will” “commit” and “determine” instead of soft words like “I’ll try”, “I would like” or “might”. Once you have written them down place your goal in a visible spot so that you are reminded each and every day of what your goal is and how you are going to get there!

I have helped you with this last tip by creating some wonderful free printables where you can write down your goals and keep them somewhere as a daily reminder.

 Goal Printable

 Go HERE to get them! 


I would love to hear any tips or treats you use to help stick to your goals!


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