Goals Schmoals :: Strategies for Making Awesome Goals

Well, 2012 is here. All 4 days of it. How are those new year’s resolutions going?

I made several goals for myself – one of them I’ll share today. But first…how do you go about making goals? What is the best way?

A while back I shared this graphic (via google images) from one of the “Building Your Marriage” posts – specifically this one.

This little picture encapsulates a good goal.

A lot of people are making goals during this time of year. That’s awesome. What’s not awesome is they way some people make goals. I’ll use myself as a bad example.

Let’s say I want to be fit. So I make a goal about it:

“In 2012, I want to be fit.”

Good goal or Bad goal?

Well, I guess it’s a good goal as in a good thing to strive towards. But, it’s a badly worded goal. So, to make things simpler, the correct answer is B: Bad Goal.

Why?

Well, who is to be the judge of whether or not I’m fit? Myself? ummm…no, because I may say I’m fit just so I can eat another Ferrero Rocher. (which someone was kind enough to give us a massive case of. I consider myself blessed.) How about my husband? No way – because if he gives the wrong answer, he could be in a heap o’ trouble. Just sayin’.

In essence, the goal should be the judge of whether or not I’m fit. In that case, I need to re-think and re-word my goal. Let’s start with the re-thinking part.

What do I mean by the “I want to be fit” statement? Lose weight? Gain weight? Be able to walk up 7 flights of stairs with ease?

In my case, I just had a baby. So what I mean when I say “I want to be fit” is: Get back to my pre-baby weight.

Aha. There’s the specific and measurable part of the goal. Because if by the end of 2012 my scale still reads 95… I know it’s broken. Because my scale hasn’t read 95 since I was…hmmmmm…can’t remember that far back.

Now, this goal is specific. But I like to make my goals even more specific by answering the “How” question. How am I going to get fit (back to my pre-baby weight) in 2012?

My cardio exercise of choice happens to be running. Plus, I’m throwing some daily push-ups in there. For obvious reasons. Let’s get even more specific. Instead of saying, “I’m going to get fit by running and doing push-ups” how about answering the “How much” question?

Eesh. Okay, so this is where you have to keep the next word in mind – Attainable.

I am not an Olympic athlete, nor do I imagine myself to be one. I’m a mom to 2 kids – one of whom is only 8 weeks old. So what is attainable for me is not going to be the same as for every other person in the world. I’m okay with that. Don’t make your goals because “ol’ Shari is doing this so I guess I should do it too.” Nope. Make it based on who you are, how you need to develop, and the time & resources you have.

The specific and attainable “hows” of my goal are 25 push-ups daily and following a half marathon training plan. (And in case you’re curious, I plan to run this 1/2 marathon with my hubby.)

Is my goal attainable? Well, I suppose I’m the only one who can really be the judge of that. But yes, it is completely attainable. Both the goal and the time limit is more than attainable. Keep in mind that the word attainable does not in any way mean easy. Ouch. Already feeling the effects of my goal.

Is my goal relevant? Ask yourself this question: “Will my goal be achieved by the methods I have planned?”

Once again, let’s use my goal as an example. Will I reach my pre-baby weight by my push-ups & running plan? Why yes. Unless, of course, my eating changes dramatically and I decide to consume the entire case of Ferrero Rochers.

And the time-bound factor is fulfilled by the little “in 2012” part I have at the beginning. Here’s the goal in it’s final state:

“In 2012, I want to get back to my pre-baby weight by doing 25 push-ups daily and following a half marathon training schedule.”

Good goal or Bad goal?

Good goal. Because it’s:

Specific.
Measurable.
Attainable.
Relevant.
Time-bound.

Excellent. Now all I have to do is work the goal. Simple, right?

 

(I am proud to say I only consumed 1 Ferrero Rocher during the writing and editing portion of this post.)

3 comments

  1. Christina says:

    Love this explanation of how to make a measurable goal! 🙂 You make me want to go back through mine and make sure mine fit the criteria., Although, I am having a hard enough time just getting started/working on my goals so will probably just leave them alone for now. 🙂

    great post, Christa!

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