I ended my last post by saying that I plan to enter 2018 peaceful and moisturized. It’s not too early to start thinking about goals for next year. Can you believe 2018 is just a few weeks away?! To prepare you, I offer you a crash course in goal setting.
There are five criteria that each goal must have. We’ll look at those first.
- A goal must be specific. “I want to read more” is not a specific goal. “I want to read at least two books per month, one fiction and one nonfiction” is a specific goal. Which leads into the second criterion…
- A goal must be measureable. “I want to lose weight” is not measurable, even though it’s a very common goal. “I want to lose five pounds” is very measurable. You could “want to lose weight” forever but with your measurable goal, you’ll know when you’ve achieved it.
- A goal must be attainable. “I want to be a millionaire by the time I’m 45” may or may not be an attainable goal, depending on your current age and financial position. You want to set goals that require some work on your part but an unattainable goal doesn’t do anyone any good.
- A goal must be relevant. Is this a goal that you want or is it something someone else wants for you? It must be YOUR goal, relevant to you. As a mother, I’m constantly reminding myself that I can’t set goals for other people, even my kids!
- A goal is timely. Using the example, “I want to lose 5 pounds” is a step in the right direction but without a completion date, you could take all the time in the world to lose it, bobbing up and down along the way. Adding a completion date gives you a little push to actually do it. “I want to lose five pounds before my trip to Hawaii in three months.”
These are called S.M.A.R.T. goals as a way to help you remember them, Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely.
Next we’ll look at the “wheel of life” which are the areas we can set goals in
As you look at the wheel, shade in the percentage of each slice that you’re happy with. For example, you could absolutely love your job and love the track that your career is on, so you’ll shade that slice in completely. At the same time, you could notice that you’re not spending enough time with your friends because of your amazing job. Maybe you’re only 25% happy with your social life so you’ll start at the tip of the wedge and fill in 25% of the wedge. Complete this exercise for each of the seven wedges. Now you have a visual tool to see where your “tire is going flat.” These are the areas you need to focus on when you’re setting goals. I ask my clients to do this exercise the first time we meet so we have a picture we can use to get them started. I’ll be doing this exercise myself in the next few days as I prepare for the new year.
One more point I want to put a strong emphasis on is the fact that you do not have to wait for a new year, a new month, a new week or a full moon to start a new habit! If you feel you’re ready to make a change, MAKE IT! Don’t give yourself time to forget about it or talk yourself out of it. Another trick I’m finding works for me is to start a new habit on a Wednesday, not a Monday. This lets me start a habit slowly because my routines on work days are different than the weekends. This week, I decided I would resume taking my break time walks. I started on Wednesday, instead of waiting until next Monday and it’s worked out because I’m not overdoing it. I’ll walk three days this week, have two days off for the weekend, then walk five days next week and going forward. This way, I’m not jumping into going five days without a break right off the get go. I like easing into things.
If you would like some help in setting your goals, or sticking to them, feel free to give me a call or shoot me an email. I offer free mini-coaching sessions to new clients, so you have nothing to lose and your dream life to gain.