What are SMART Goals?
When you are goal setting, it is a good idea to practice SMART goal setting. SMART goal setting can help you plan your goals and potentially help you to be more successful. This is the time of year where you may be setting new goals for your self. It’s important to take the time to review where you are in life (whether it’s your health and wellness, relationships, or finances) and try to improve the areas where you can. But, goal setting should always be done with a positive outlook and not a negative one.
Should Be Self
We often get into the trap of comparing ourselves to other people. With the rise of social media, this has become more even more so. We look at other people online and they seem to have their lives put together. We then begin to feel bad about ourselves wondering, “where did I go wrong?”. But the truth is, no one’s life is perfect. People only put their best selves out there for others to see. No one, for the most part, puts all the bad stuff out there. But even so, it’s never good to compare yourself to other people.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to be a better version of yourself. But sometimes we put so much pressure on ourselves to try and be the perfect person. I call this the “should be self “. I should weigh this much , I should look like this, I should make this much money, I should have this, and more.
It is important to have realistic goals. Having goals that are realistic and attainable are an important part of self-confidence. When you put unrealistic goals, or unattainable goals, on yourself, this could chip away at your self-confidence. When you are constantly thinking that you are failing, this does not help with your mental health. This can lead you to just give up and not even try. And can also lead to depression and self harm.
So what are SMART goals? SMART goals are:
Specific: clearly write out your goal.
Measurable: measure, evaluate, and re-assess
Attainable: make it something you can actually do
Realistic: make sure it aligns with your lifestyle
Time-Related: reasonable but clear-cut time frames.
6 Tips for SMART goal setting
- Make one specific goal: setting a goal to just lose weight may be too vague. Set a specific goal weight and the reason behind your goal. When it comes to weight loss it’s important to have some non-scale reasons. For example, I want to lose 20 pounds so that I can gain more self-confidence and have more energy to play with my children.
- Determine how you will measure it. Have a way that you can measure your goals. It’s a good idea to be able to track your progress regularly. When it comes to weight loss, you can use a scale as your measuring tool. However, it is a good idea to not weigh yourself every day. Because your weight tends to fluctuate on a day-to-day basis, weighing yourself every day can be discouraging. Manage your progress on a weekly basis rather than a daily basis.
- Work with a health care practitioner. Working with a healthcare practitioner can make it easier for you to achieve your goal. Especially with weight loss, there is a lot of misinformation out there. Having a health care advocate that can navigate through all the misinformation can help you to achieve your goal.
- Make sure your goal aligns with your schedule and available resources. Don’t make goals that are impossible to reach due to busy schedules. If you are planning a vacation, or have several work trips ahead of you, maybe wait to start your goal until things have calmed down.
- Keep in mind your timeline is only a guideline and not set in stone. If you do not reach your goal by your set timeline, don’t just give up. You can always reassess your goals along the way and change things as needed.
- Share your goals with someone you love. By sharing your goals with a friend or family member, this will help you to stay accountable. Make sure you choose someone who will support you. Having your own personal cheerleader can really help you to stay on track and achieve your goal.
The Bottom Line
Having clear-cut goals that are measurable, attainable, and maintainable will increase your success. Keep in mind that change is hard. Give yourself the time and grace to make mistakes along the way. If you make a mistake, just pick yourself up and get back on track. You got this.