Without SMART goals, it’s hard to know when you’re actually making progress. SMART = Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely.
· Specific – Your goal should be defined and clearly understood. Don’t make it ambiguous. What is it that you ultimately want to achieve? For example, being healthier is not a specific goal. Instead, try setting a goal to lose a certain amount of weight, compete in your first 5k, or get off of a prescription medication.
· Measurable – It’s important to set a goal that can be measured with additional criteria to show how you’re progressing throughout your journey. Break your larger goal down into smaller milestones and work to achieve one thing at a time. And celebrate the small wins along the way!
· Achievable – A goal should always be able to be achieved. If it pushes you outside of your comfort zone, that’s OK! But it shouldn’t be impossible to reach the finish line.
· Realistic – Think about your why. Why do you want to reach this goal? Is it relevant to your life? Is it going to contribute to something larger? Are you even motivated to move forward? If it doesn’t make sense for you and what you value, it may not be the right goal.
· Timely – Put a deadline on your goal or each milestone that adds up to you reaching your target. This will give you a sense of urgency to push forward and keep you from slacking on what you’re trying to accomplish.
Having an achievable goal that can be broken down into smaller measurable goals will drive your motivation. Knowing you can do something is the best encouragement you can have to actually do it!