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SMART Goals: What Are They and How Can They Help Me?

Updated: Feb 19, 2023

Do you have a lot of ideas and goals but don’t know where to begin? Are you excited to get started on your goals with the best intentions but find that you can’t follow through and your commitment fizzles out?

Here’s where SMART goals come in!


Here’s how it breaks down. Make your goals:


Specific

Measurable

Appealing

Reasonable

Time-bound


We may not use these factors in order, but we need them all to make a reachable goal.

For example, let’s say you want to work on your physical health and workout more. This is an awesome goal, and it’s also pretty vague. Here’s how you might make it into a SMART goal.





Appealing: What would actually be fun to get more movement into your life? Let’s say in this case, you’ve done Zumba and yoga in the past, and you really enjoyed them. We have to start with what’s appealing, because if we don’t like the goal whatsoever, we are probably not going to do it or do it for long.


Reasonable: maybe you took a class here or there, but money is short and classes aren’t doable. Try out YouTube or check out your local parks and rec to see if they have some classes. Let’s say you ultimately want to do yoga or Zumba every day. But lately the only movement you’ve been able to get is walking up stairs a few times at work. So starting with daily movement isn’t likely reasonable.


Measurable: this often goes hand in hand with measurable. Instead of going from almost no movement to daily movement, let’s start with 2, even 1 time per week. At the end of the week, I can say that I completed 1-2 sessions of either Zumba or yoga.

-I like to make a goal that is 100% doable, and even one that I could surpass so I get to see success and feel accomplished.


Time-bound: again, this one ties in with both being reasonable and measurable. My goal is time bound in that I am shooting for a goal that I will check in with after 1 week. And then depending on how it goes after a couple weeks, I can bump up the amount of times per week I do yoga or Zumba.


Specific: the goal is specific in that the activity you want to do is specifically yoga or Zumba. And I want to start with anywhere from 15-30 minutes. When you’re making a change in your life, whether with health, family, work, relationships, money, etc. you need to know exactly what you will be changing and there is no question about it.


Here’s what it would look like put together:

I am going to do yoga or Zumba for 15-30 minutes 1-2 times per week for a couple weeks.


If after a few weeks, things are going well and it’s getting easier to complete this goal, then you can bump it up. Maybe though, it’s too tough. You can always, always reevaluate and try something different. Making change isn’t easy. But we can learn and shift.

I also like to recognize anything that I do towards my goal, even if it wasn’t what I was hoping to accomplish. Doing something is 100% more than doing nothing. And maybe you have a week or two where you don't reach the goal you'd set. That's okay too. Again, learn, grow, and shift. And above all, be kind to yourself. You, like us all, are human.


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