If your Goals Aren’t Smart, They Need to Be!

Debbie Hatch  |  Family & F.I.T.

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The leaves are changing.  There are pumpkins and mums everywhere.  Fall is one of my favorite seasons.  I love the colors, the smells, the tastes!!  I love the weather.
I don’t like the fact that the days are getting shorter though, nor that it will be cold soon.  When I walked outside (in Virginia) this morning, we had frost on the windshield.  Yet, it was 71 when I stepped off the plane in Denver!  Maybe I can leave that jacket packed in my suitcase for a bit longer.
Where has the time gone?  Not this year (although that too), but the last several months.  It seems as though I was just at the beach with my grandchildren.  Personally, I’ve been so busy in my teaching business that I’ve rarely had time to even figure out where I am.  The months leading up to the end of the fiscal year (30 September) are always the most crazy.  Things will start to slow down a little bit now.
Under Family & F.I.T. I had planned to write one blog each day this month.
That has not worked out for me.
Know what, though?  I’m okay with it.
And here’s why:
When it comes to setting any goal, first, we should ensure they are SMART goals.
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Specific, Measurable, Aligned with our mission and goals, Realistic & Relevant and Time-Based.
In fact, if you’re missing one or more of these components, it’s going to be difficult, to meet your goal.
I was missing one!  Here’s how my goal stacked up with these:
–  It was specific.  I planned to write every day.
–  It was measurable.  I planned to write – every day.
–  It is aligned with my mission and goals.  I want to help others by sharing my knowledge and experiences.
–  It wasn’t realistic.  Being at the airport or getting ready for class at 5:30 or 6 in the morning, flying for hours/teaching, getting to bed at 11 or later just does not lend itself well to me having any mental capacity left to write.
–  It was time-based:  it was to last just for the month.
I could look at this as a failure.  I have not written every day this month.  BUT I have written more (9 blogs) than I normally do.  That IS an accomplishment and I’m satisfied with it.
****    I did what I could, when I could, with the time and energy that I had available.  I didn’t just give up.
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Here’s how the smart framework can look with health goals.
What do most new clients tell me they want?  “To lose weight”
Simple enough, right?  Not really.  Let’s see how that goal stacks up.
–  This isn’t specific.  How much weight?  Is it actually weight you’re looking to lose, or it is fat?  Or are you really hoping to change the way your body looks or functions?  The way you feel?  What you’re able to do?
–  This isn’t measurable.  In fact when it comes to setting health related goals, we should only measure the things we can actually control.  I can’t control whether I lose weight.  I can control how/when I eat.  I can control whether or not I work out.  I can start to change the way I think about food.  I can control how much water I drink.  See the difference?
–  Losing weight may (or may not) be aligned to the goal of feeling better or being more healthy.
–  This isn’t realistic (see the measurable line in this section….)
–  This goal does typically have a time basis assigned.  People say, “by my birthday” “before my baby is a year old”, “within the next 12 weeks” etc.  The problem is that how, and when, our body responds is outside of our control.
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I believe, whole-heartedly, that we should continually be setting goals.  Learning new things.  Growing beyond where we are right now.
It’s critical, though, that they are SMART.  We frequently make the mistake of making too many goals, that aren’t specific, aren’t written, are too big, unrealistic and unattainable.
Is there something you’ve been attempting or wanting to do?  How does is measure up within this framework?


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  1. I’m in a big goal-setting period of my life. I am working with a writing coach. She had me write my goals down everyday. We’ll see how it works at the end of the week.
    Everything I put down was measurable – but some might be too big.
    We”ll see. Thanks for a great post!

    1. That’s awesome!!! Good luck Amy. Goals should make you stretch outside your comfort zone 🙂

  2. I’ve set the goal of maintaining my walking ability for as long as I possibly can. Waking gives me pain, but I will disregard that and continue to try. The goal is attainable with the right attitude. I have no expectations. I know age comes to everyone. Thank you for a motivating message.

    1. I’m sorry you’re in pain, Francene!! I love your attitude but please don’t hurt yourself. xo

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