“SMART” GOAL SETTING

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Oh Please don’t harp at me anymore about goal setting!  How often I hear this.  The truth is that we do some sort of goal setting every day.  We have a goal to brush our teeth.  We have a goal to get in the car and drive to work.  We have a goal to eat lunch. We meet these but they seem like “easy” goals.

People view hard goals as ones in which they have to make substantial changes in their lives.  Basically many people don’t see any advantage in making changes unless they are in real trouble.  If they are going bankrupt, then it might be time to make some changes.  If their spouse wants a divorce, then change is inevitable.

Many lawyers see advantages to themselves in setting goals.  Like better time management gives them less anxiety and more control over their life.   Setting goals to achieve a promotion or to be a better parent is seen as worthwhile.

So why are there so many failures in reaching the goals we set? “I didn’t lose the weight”, “I didn’t get the promotion” , “I didn’t write my blog this week” can really be discouraging.

So here’s the SMART way to do goal setting: 

  • S  Specific
  • M Measurable
  • A  Achievable
  • R  Realistic
  • D  Time Based

Actually this formula has been around for some time.  Those people who take it to heart when they are preparing their goals have a much better chance of success.

So, you have to be specific:   Not, “I want to lose some weight”  Better:  “I want to lose 25 lbs”  Then make it measurable:  “I want to lose 2 lbs a week”.  Make it achievable and realistic?  Is 2 lbs a week realistic with your life styles.  What information might you need to achieve that goal?  Last, is it time based?  So it would go something like “I want to lose a total of 25 lbs by January 1 by losing 2 lbs a week starting tomorrow” .

When goal planning is done this way, your little neurons seem to like it better.  It is positive and it tells you what the outcome will be if you do it this way.  It meets the SMART way to go about goal setting.

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Your assignment:  Make one very small goal this week but follow the SMART rule.  See how it works.  Let us know!