Set Smart Goals not Resolutions (then make it happen)

posted in: do | 0

open journal on rustic table writing new year's resolutions

Every year people often make New Year’s resolutions with a renewed motivation to make a change and actually stick to it. Resolutions like diets never really last. The problem is we have to rely too much on will power and determination. I’m no different… I’ve vowed to exercise more, lose weight, get organized, learn something new, save more money, enjoy life more… we always say we’re going to do stuff… but what if you got busy, missed New Year’s completely? It doesn’t matter when you start, as long as you start. Start with some smart goals!

We need to come up with a strategy and make the changes to our lifestyle to make things stick.

Since we are home more, this seemed like a good time to think about what we need to do. I am changing my approach. I know it’s not the first of the year, but really it doesn’t have to be January to make an official start… We are breaking traditions! The important part is that you don’t give up. I’m always starting and stopping all year long… especially when life gets crazy. Take some time to regroup, and just keep going. Here are some ways I plan to stay on track.

What if I don’t know what to do? Check out >> Trigger Your Curiosity

Create a PUSH goal

A concept by Chalene Johnson, she encourages you to figure out what 10 things you want to accomplish over the next 90 days (hint: not just for New Year’s resolutions), then set ONE S.M.A.R.T. goal that will help make all the others possible. Is this the most important? Not necessarily, but it does create a domino effect that will “push” through all the other goals. Think about it like piggybacking your projects as a way to be more efficient and effective. Who doesn’t love faster and easier? So what is my PUSH goal? This blog! I plan to document this journey to keep me on track for our goals. I can also look back and see what worked and what didn’t. Plus I’m hoping this will help me stay accountable!

Small consistent goals

On one episode of the Rachael Ray Show, she featured Dr. Jennifer Ashton, author of The Self Care Solution. I thought this was great especially for Dad since he hasn’t been in the mood for workouts since his stroke and really just needs to focus on the basics like flexibility, balance and strength. The concept is to do just a few small things every day and just increase and improve slowly. Tagged onto the daily pill routine, this seems very doable! Though this is great for any goal really… since we are basically developing new habits and routines. Plus I plan to do it with him as motivation since this is not something he would choose to do, but really needs to do so he can recover as much as possible.

Make S.M.A.R.T. goals

If you caught that reference with the PUSH goal, good on you!

S – Small and Specific.

Most life coaches refer to a SMART goal as specific. A more specific goal would be “quitting smoking” while “being healthy” tends to be too broad and can be open to interpretation. I like Chalene’s approach where she says to make your goal small. I am working on “bite-sized” goals. They motivate you by helping you feel more accomplished.s.m.a.r.t. goals

For Dad’s physical therapy, the goal is to do 2 squats per day for the next 2-3 weeks to help stretch out his legs and gain more flexibility.

M – Measurable. 

How will you know when you’ve reached your goal? A set measure is a way to certify you have actually done what you set out to do, no questions asked. It also helps to measure your progress.

A – Achievable. 

Goals should get you to make a change, but if they are too far out of reach, you will probably give up. Honestly, when Dad was doing his recovery, he wanted to go to the gym. He said we would go 3-4 days a week consistently… well it got too much once he started working again and we are back to square one. This time we’ll take it slow and achievable. working on the areas he needs the most help – flexibility and balance.

R – Relevant and Rewarding. 

SMART goals should be relevant to your big picture and the priorities in your life. Chalene recommends identifying the positive side effects and benefits. What rewards will you get for reaching your goal?

T – Time Sensitive.

You know the deal. Due dates always get priority. This gives us a sense of urgency so we stop putting things off.

Write it down.

Verba volant, scripta manent: “Spoken words fly away, written words remain”

– anonymous Latin proverb

We forget things and writing things down allows us to clarify and be more precise. When I write out my goal, I am seeing, reading it, writing it and ultimately remembering it with intention. I post goals by my desk to remind me about the game plan and keep me from getting distracted.

Some people love planners, but I gave that up since we now have smartphones. I have been very happy with my digital planning… I never forget my “brain” anymore and it really helps to keep track of all your schedules. Our shared digital calendar syncs between our phones with automated reminders. Keeping it open on my desktop helps me manage all the day to day tasks for work, school, doctors, etc. Digital calendars allow you to set reminders and make recurring tasks. I love it because I can set the next appointments while I’m at the doctor’s office so I don’t forget. From my phone, I can even add travel time so I know when to stop what I’m doing and get going. Plus this helps me visualize my blocks of time to make sure I get things done.

The calendar is great for keeping track of what to do when, but the difference for me this year is that I need a bigger boost to stay on track. I’m starting with a checklist. I know it sounds very old school, but something about checking things off every day and seeing that progress gives a feeling of accomplishment and can motivate you to do more. You can build a habit in one day, just by setting up a checklist for yourself and sticking with it every day.

Need a little push? Try the Domino Effect for Goal Setting!

Share your goals.

It has been challenging to keep my goals in the past. I’ve told friends and family, but people get busy and things happen. The past year has been rough for us with some setbacks but being a Boyd means you don’t give up and you persevere. It’s taking a lot longer to get where we need to go, but if anything we are determined. There’s no more putting things off or getting distracted. This needs to get done. We can do this together!

New Year’s Resolutions: ID 82579909 © Juan Moyano | Dreamstime.com

SMART Goals: ID 83846557 © Marek Uliasz | Dreamstime.com