We have your SMART Goals Planner all ready for you.
Before you download your planner, though, let’s talk about the components that make up a SMART goal.
Any time you set a goal or resolution, first take some time to think about WHY you’re setting it. Is it connected to your values? Is there an internally-motivated reason why you want to get that result?
Example: Are you trying to eat healthier because you want your body to function better and live longer? Or, are you trying to eat healthier because that’s what everyone else is doing?
If you’re not deeply connected to the value of your goal, you likely won’t be able to stick with it. So take a moment when you set any goal to reflect on your motivation behind it.
When you’re ready to set up your plan to achieve your goal, there should always be an objective that is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound. These criteria break down the actions related to your goal and help you avoid the trap of vagueness.
So, what are the steps you can take to make sure you are setting a SMART goal?
1. Decide on a Specific Action
If you can’t picture the action, your goal isn’t specific enough. Though your end result may be that you are eating healthier, or showing more gratitude in your life, what exactly is the actionable objective you will set for yourself that will lead you there? Instead of just saying you’ll “eat healthier,” get more specific.
Example: I will eat vegetables every day.
2. Measure Your Progress
After you’ve nailed down a specific action to go with your goal, think about how you can make the action measurable so you know exactly what to aim for. Rather than just saying you’ll do something “more” or “less,” assigning a measure to it will help you know whether you’ve fulfilled that action or not.
Example: I will eat five servings of vegetables per day.
3. Make Sure Your Goal is Attainable
The attainability of your goal is all about the logistics. Think about everything that is going to be required for you to attain your goal and whether your lifestyle is conducive to that.
If your actionable objective is attainable, that’s great. If you realize that it isn’t attainable, think about how you can adjust the action or its measure to better suit what you can commit to.
Example: Is eating five servings of vegetables per day attainable for me, given my work schedule, proximity to a grocery store, commitments with my kids or other family members, etc.?
4. Set Realistic Expectations
While attainability has more to do with your personal level of commitment and restrictions, the “realistic” component addresses how generally reasonable it is for anyone to fulfill this objective.
Example: Eating twenty servings of vegetables every day would be unrealistic for anyone, but five servings is much more reasonable.
5. Give Yourself a Timeline
Every goal should have a pre-established timeline. Even if you want to eat healthy or exercise more for the rest of your life, your specific, actionable objective should have an endpoint in sight. Otherwise, it may feel too overwhelming and difficult to stick with.
Setting a timeline allows you to pause at the end of it, reinforce to yourself that you accomplished your actionable goal, and reevaluate. Did it make you feel different? Did you notice a change? How can you adjust your goal to continue in the future?
Example: I will eat five servings of vegetables every day for a month (if that feels realistic and attainable).
Your SMART Goals Planner will guide you through applying these steps to whatever goals and resolutions you are planning to set this year, whether it’s losing weight, changing your diet, lowering your stress, or even being a better friend or expressing more gratitude in your life.
Once you have established what your overarching goal is and you’ve thought about why this is a deeply important goal to you (read more on this here), you can break down how you will get there with your SMART Goals Planner, and then you’ll be on your way to accomplishing it.