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Smart Goal Setting
As we celebrate the new year and settle back into the post-holiday routines, many of us will be declaring our New Year’s resolutions with big goals for our physical fitness, finances, relationships, careers, and more. However, according to a 2013 article in Forbes magazine, only 8% of people successfully realize their resolutions. The key to succeeding might lie in the way you set your goals.
An author in the 1980’s named George Doran coined the acronym S.M.A.R.T. for goal setting in the workplace, but his method gained traction for individuals as well. S.M.A.R.T. stands for specific, measurable, assignable (or achievable in personal goal setting), realistic, and time-related.
Let’s use the popular weight loss goal as an example for applying these. Many people resolve to lose weight in the new year, but how much? The S in S.M.A.R.T. stands for specific, which is an easy one to apply. Choose the final amount you’d like to lose. For our example, let’s say 50 lbs. Next is M for measurable. Since weight is something that can be measured on a scale, weight loss is therefore a measurable goal. The assignable characteristic applies more for business goals that can be delegated to various employees. Other articles tend to use achievable for the A on S.M.A.R.T. goals for personal growth. An achievable or attainable goal would be something that can, in fact, be done. If you happen to be a young child, or perhaps a woman that recently became pregnant, weight gain would be the more likely and desired outcome, so weight loss would not be an achievable goal. This is similar, but not to be confused with realistic. Our example of a 50 lb. weight loss goal is realistic for a an otherwise healthy adult weighing 250 lbs. but might not be for an adult weighing 110 lbs. Finally, the at stands for time-specific or time-sensitive. Set a deadline, a reasonable one, and mark it on your calendar.
Research also tells us that goals are more likely to be met when they’re written down, so pull out a pen and paper to write yours down. Break your larger goal into smaller chunks and create a plan to reach each stepping stone along the way. Let’s use our sample 50 lb. weight loss goal again. Let’s say your goal is to do this by the end of May, so that would be 10 lbs. per month, and further still, 2.5 lbs. per week. Doesn’t that sound so much easier? Now come up with a plan of action- how many calories need to be cut out of your diet, or how many hours of exercise per week will be required to meet your weekly goal? Write these down and track your progress as the days pass.
Using S.M.A.R.T. goal setting, writing goals down, and breaking larger goals into smaller bits can help you stick to your resolutions all the way to the end. We hope to see you all smash those goals!
Of course, if your resolution this year involves buying a home, contact a GroupWatson Agent TODAY for Professional Advice & Expert Direction.
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