Hey, friend! I hope you are doing well today. Time to #checkyourheart: What are your goals for your life? We talk about making goals all of the time. How often do you sit and reflect on your goals that you have for yourself?
What exactly does a good goal look like? A good goal has parts to it that must all be included. The acronym to remember what the anatomy of a good goal is SMART. I will use different real life examples to describe each section, and combine them all at the end with an example of what a SMART goal looks like in its entirety. Get comfy, and let’s get started!
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When setting a goal, it’s important that you be as specific as you can in identifying what goal you are wanting to achieve.
A poor example of a goal we have all heard before (or, if you’re like me, have made before) would be this: I want to lose weight.
Friend, this isn’t a goal. This is a wish.
How, you ask? There is no specific example of how much weight you want to lose. How will you know when your goal is reached? Your weight can fluctuate by up to 5 pounds a day, so if you went to bed and woke up 1-3 pounds lighter, would you feel like you accomplished your goal? Of course not!
Being specific lets you know what specifically you are attempting to accomplish. How many pounds/kilograms do you want to lose? What is your goal weight? That’s an important piece!
Better example: I want to lose 20 pounds.
This is specific enough for you to know when you have accomplished this goal and are ready to make your next goal!
Your goal has to be able to be measured by something tangible.
Something that you can see or feel objectively. A poor example of a goal on it’s own that I have heard many a time as a therapist: “I want to be happy.”
Again. Not a goal. Just a wish.
How do you measure happiness objectively other than self report? It’s a subjective feeling that even you can have difficulty keeping up with measuring from day to day. How will you know if you’re making progress with that?
One way to measure something like happiness that isn’t exactly tangible is by self-report using a Likert-scale. On a scale of 1-5, with 1 being awful and 5 being awesome, how happy are you feeling today?
Other questions you need to ask are where would you like to be by next week? Are there things can you do to work on getting there? What things can you place in your schedule that you do enjoy between now and next week that would make you happier?
A better example of a goal that is measurable in this instance: ‘I want to go from a 2 on the happiness scale to a 3 by taking a bubble bath, working on my blog, and playing with my puppy.”
Is this goal possible to achieve?
Have you ever heard anyone say “Anything is possible?” If so, I’m here to inform you that this is not a universal truth. In order to set a goal you can keep, it needs to be possible to attain. A poor exaggerated example of this could be: “I want to reach 1,000,000 blog view by my 3rd day of blogging!”
If someone has told you this was possible for them, and that it’s possible for you, too, I would have a hard time believing them unless they showed me EXACTLY how they did it. I can tell you that isn’t how it went for me- check out my report of my first month blogging here!
For the rest of us mortals, a better attainable expectation could be: “I would like to have 10,000 blog views by 6 months.”
This would be so much more attainable if you’re able and willing to put yourself out there and network with others. Set your standards for your goals high, but reachable!
You need to set a goal that is relevant to you and what you want to accomplish based on your current goal.
For example, if you’re training to run a marathon, it wouldn’t make sense to make your main goals of the day everyday until the marathon to organize your entire house room by room. That would probably need to be an entirely different goal for an entirely different time, lest you get burnt out and not have enough time to train.
All good goals need to have a deadline or a due date when they need to be completed.
Usually, for us to accomplish anything, we have to have a set date to light a fire under us and make us get going! If there is no sense of urgency, why accomplish anything at all? Why start a blog? Start trying to have kids? What about start saving for retirement or paying off debt? If there is no incentive or consequence to get things done, we NEVER will!
A good example of a time bound goal would be to pay off $1,000 worth of debt by the end of the year. You know you have from whatever day you start until December 31st to pay off your debt, which gives you the perfect formula to find out how much per week you need to pay off between now and then! AND, you have the incentive to be $1,000 less in debt by the end of the year! Happy New Year to you!
All Together Now!
Alright. Here is an personal example of a goal that I have that I will add all of the parts of a SMART goal together for. Here we go!
I will read the last half of my Bible to complete reading the entire book by reading one section per day until December 31st.
I will read the last half of my Bible to complete reading the entire Book. Very specific, as I know what I am reading.
Reading one section per day. This is measurable by me putting it on my to-do list, completing it, and checking it on my to-do list. My Bible itself is sectioned out daily, thankfully, so I don’t have to figure that out myself.
I didn’t set this goal very well last year due to getting the Bible later in the year, and there was a solid 3 or 4 months where I would forget to read or just neglected to. However, it is a very attainable goal at this point now that I have reframed my goal for this year and made work on it since last year.
This is definitely a relevant goal for myself because it’s a part of my morning routine now and it’s one of my 30 before 30 goals that I would like to accomplish!
Since this Bible is a 365 day Bible, and I have finally developed a habit of reading every morning, I plan to accomplish this goal before the end of the year, even if I miss a day here and there (because I know that I will, and that’s okay!). I just take that into account when setting my goal.
I sure hope that this breakdown of a SMART goal helps you to make a goal that you are able to accomplish, friend. If you would like to share with me in the comments, I would love to hear what some of your goals are for this year- especially if you can put them into SMART form!
Do you need help making your wish into a SMART goal? Just ask me in the comments, and I will try my best to help! If you subscribe, you’ll also have access to a FREE SMART goal printable that I made myself that you can use to reach your own goals!
If you feel like you may need professional help in reaching your goals, I would highly recommend looking up a therapist or counselor in your area to help you work through those goals. OR if you would rather, you could try telehealth therapy through companies like Betterhelp or Online Therapy! With my code, you can get started with 20% off your first month with Online Therapy!
As always, it is so very good to be with you. You are such a blessing. Take care until we meet again, friend