Thursday, December 27, 2012

SMART Goals

It seems the media has taken hold of the New Year's Resolutions and dashed them before anyone has begun.  There is article after article outlining the statistics of what type of resolutions are made and how long people stick with them.  Don't let this stop you; make a better choice and plan for success. Successful individuals find SMART goals help them reach their intended outcome.  SMART goals are:
  • Specific. Define the specific goal, along with the steps you are going to take to achieve it. Answers the question—Who? and What? 
  • Measurable. Choose a goal that is quantifiable. The success toward meeting the goal can be measured. Answers the question—How?
  • Action Plan. Devise a plan for reaching your goal. Anticipate bumps, know what obstacles may come. Identify ways to work with and around them. Recruit help.
  • Realistic. The goal set needs to be within your ability. That doesn't mean it should be easy; pursuing it may push you out of your comfort zone. But the goal itself needs to be potentially achievable given your current lifestyle, time and effort you are capable of investing. Remember that what is right for you may not be right for another and vice versa.
  • Timely. Set a timetable for your goal and for each step that will take you there.
A SMART goal clarifies exactly what is expected and the measures used to determine if the goal is achieved. Examples of SMART goals:
  • I will incorporate 2 sessions of 30 minute cardiovascular exercise into my week. On Sunday, I will set ’Cardio Appointments’ in my calendar for these sessions. If I cancel an appointment, I will be sure to commit to another with the change in my calendar. 
  • I will journal what I feel emotionally and physically before and after I eat. I will also document what I eat and when. I will carry a mini journal and pen with me. If I am eating without a journal present, I will type these details into the notes on my phone. I will add these notes to my journal by the day’s end. 
The IT department I work in is already buzzing with individuals deciding to "eat healthier."  Be sure you don't fall into this black hole.  Set yourself up for success by taking the time to plan... make your goals SMART.