HAPPY NEW YEAR! So you want to set some goals for 2022? Well get out a piece of paper because today we are talking about S-M-A-R-T goals. You might be wondering what the heck I am talking about so first thing is first — what is it? S-M-A-R-T is a method you can use to really get to the core of your goals and make sure they are attainable + sustainable.
Get out a piece of paper because we’re getting into it!
SPECIFIC – you really want to get specific on what your goals are. They can be small or big goals, but you really want to hone in on what you actually want to accomplish. For example: One of my goals for the new year is to run a 5k. I had to get specific on that goal. I want to run a 5k by August for a non-profit for cancer or for domestic violence awareness. I got specific on exactly what my goal was. A good tool to use here is mind-mapping. I love to use this tool for almost everything in my life – even grocery shopping. If you are a visual person this could really help you see the goal and get detailed on it. Here is a quick mind mapping worksheet I created for you to try!
Measurable means that you can take action based steps in achieving that said goal. If your goal is to go on vacation in May and you know that vacation costs X amount of money then you know you need to save X amount of dollars by X date in order to be able to achieve that goal. In my 5k example, I haven’t run since college so I know I will really have to prepare for this goal by running 3x a week for about 30 min or so.
Achievable basically all this mean is be realistic with yourself. I didn’t make my running goal “I want to run the Boston marathon” when I haven’t run in years. I made it a small achievable goal that will progress me towards more. You can’t put a roof on a house without foundation. A big part of this is to also build a community around you that can help support you. Once thing I see often is women especially have a goal to look leaner and build some tone/muscle but they are comparing themselves to women who have literally been working at it for 3-4 years now. That is a great thing to do for inspiration but remove the comparison from it or else your brain will spiral into negative self talk and that no longer makes your goals achievable. You also want to be realistic with yourself. It’s about not setting yourself up for disappointment and failure. As a type-a perfectionist who literally needs to be good at everything right away I know how hard this is. I throw myself into a HUGE goal and then get royally disappointed when I am no where near achieving it by when I wanted. Something I REALLY have been working on. You have to be aware of yourself and how much you are able to take on.
Relevant, you need to attach relevance to your goals because that brings you motivation to accomplish them. This is basically your why. Why do you want to eat healthier? Why do you want to move your body more? Why do you want to spend less money? Why do you want to go to Greece for vacation? It has to come from a place of self. Understanding yourself and your true wants so that it allows you to continue to progress towards that goal.
Time Sensitive doesn’t mean you rush through your goals. We aren’t half-assing kind of people here! What this means is setting small goals over shorter periods of time to accomplish that larger goal you have. This also helps with preventing burnout. For example: if your goal is to wake up earlier in the morning and you already got specific on the time you’d like to get up (let’s say 6am) then now you want to start setting small time sensitive and achievable steps to accomplish that. A good method would be to wake up 10 min earlier every week than you already are.
Something I love to do personally is to have a habit tracker that allows me to write down smaller goals that lead me to my greater goal. For example of my goals is to be overall healthier – emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually. So I use a habit tracker to write down smaller habits I can implement everyday in order to accomplish that greater goal. For my 5k goal I have a running log I use every time I run so I can track my progress. This is a great way to see how far you have come with your goals. Especially in moments where you want to give up.
It is important to find methods that work for you. I hope this helps you to better understand S-M-A-R-T goal setting! I wish you the best in all your goals for 2022 and beyond!