may we begin – with a smart goal

Welcome to May. We made it through the winter. Dreaming of days when the snow and cold would be gone and we could easily go outdoors again. The time is here. Let’s get that walking plan into action.

Today’s post is about goal setting. Goals give action and meaning to behavior, they also direct our behavior. I know for a fact, setting goals that are important to me, will get me much closer to the desired behavior in the end.

As a teacher, I was accustomed to helping my students work with SMART goals. A SMART goal is – specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-sensitive. The first couple of times I worked with setting a SMART goal, I made a chart for myself. Now, I can think them through in my head. I have seen the success of SMART goals in my students and myself, and today I would like to share the philosophy.

Let’s begin with this goal statement…I want to start a regular walking plan to improve my health.

In order to make this a SMART goal, we need to apply the goal to the SMART model.

1. Is the goal specific? For this goal to be specific it needs to state what I want to achieve. I ask myself “What do I want to achieve?” I answer with “I want will begin a regular walking plan to improve my health.” (Notice, I changed the “want” to “will”. Will is a “doing” verb, an “achieving” verb.)

2.  Is the goal measurable? I need to be able to quantify the goal or at some point measure it’s success, so I ask myself “What do I mean by regular? How often will I walk?” I adjust my goal…”I will begin a regular walking plan 3 times a week to improve my health.”

3. Is the goal attainable? or achievable? I ask myself “Can I realistically walk 3 times a week?” After checking my schedule, I answer “Yes, I can pencil in walking, 3 times a week.”  My goal is realistic.

4. Is the goal relevant? I ask myself  “Why is this goal important to me?” I answer “Because I value my health.” Good, I already have that in my statement.

5. Is the goal time-bound? I ask myself “What is my target date to finish?” Hmmm, I notice I didn’t include a target date, I need to fix my goal. I know that regular exercise takes 6 months to become a pattern, so I am going to set my goal for 6 months. “I will begin a pattern of walking 3 times a week for 6 months to improve my health.”

There you have it! A really good SMART goal…I will begin a regular pattern of walking 3 times a week for 6 months to improve my health.

The beauty of the SMART model is… it works for setting any type of goal.

Try it and see for yourself. What is your goal? Can you apply it to the SMART model to make it better?

how to make a "smart" goal... #psychology #fitness #counseling

 

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