Are you living the life you imagined you would?
I imagine most people have some alternate reality they think about, some might even say, they wish their life had turned out differently. But what if things could be different? What if you can turn your dreams and wishes into reality?! When you set smart goals, you have something to aim for, a purpose to keep working on yourself and in turn, dramatically improve your life!
I have made some appalling life choices believe me! Subsequently, I spent a lot of years blaming other people and being angry at the hand I’d been dealt. When I was younger, I certainly didn’t fantasise about being a single parent and bearly ever leaving the house! Juggling financial commitments, living in rented accommodation and struggling to make it through each day was not part of the plan.
I was almost at the point where I gave up. I can’t tell you why, but one day I decided enough was enough.
It suddenly dawned on me; there is only one person who can do anything about my problems. You know who it was? Me!
Before you set smart goals, you have to decide what you want out of life.
Has anybody ever told you, change is a bad thing, and you won’t always get what you want? Have you been told to stop dreaming, take a reality check and to get realistic about your life?
Does this mean you have to settle for what you get? Well, I have to say I disagree!
How different would your life be now if you were told you could do anything you wanted and you were encouraged to follow your dreams?
Change is a good thing!
Watching a few motivational speeches and feeling all pumped up for about half an hour will only get you so far! Changing your life takes creativity and a lot of hard work.
What you have to do first a foremost though, is make the decision and start implementing ways and means of turning those wishes and dreams into reality.
The best way to do this is learning how to set smart goals. Start thinking outside the box!
Smart goals aren’t just for businesses or nerds!
The first time I heard the words smart and goal together was about five years ago. I was taking a hairdressing course at college. The tutor was your typical Type A kind of woman. I remember being quite intimidated at first, but once I got to know her, she was the sweetest and funniest person (even though she didn’t mean to be).
In all honesty, I envied her lifestyle. She seemed so put together, organised, focused and knew what she wanted. It was obvious she wanted all of that for all of us too.
However, every time she mentioned smart goals everybody would groan and switch off, we would often laugh about it and treat it like a joke; mainly because it was to do with getting assignments done and urghh to that!
I wish I had taken her more seriously at the time, and listened to what she had to say. Learning to set smart goals is most definitely the way to get things done!
Set smart goals and you can achieve anything you want, from learning something new to cleaning your bathroom!
How to set smart goals and why they work.
Its all in the name, S.M.A.R.T! Each letter of the word corresponds to another. Here’s what each one means.
S – Specific.
Getting super specific is the most crucial part of establishing your goal. Think about what it is that you want to achieve and narrow it down even further.
E.g. Saying you want to lose weight is a pretty broad statement. Saying I want to lose half a stone is more specific. See where I am going with this?!
M – Measurable.
For a goal to be measurable, you have to be able to track it accurately. Sticking with the losing weight theme, you would need a set of scales to accurately measure your weight loss, to be sure you’re staying on track.
A – Actionable.
Plan out how you will achieve your goal by breaking it down step by step. A sort of, goal roadmap, if you like.
R – Related.
Take some time to think about how your smart goal will benefit your life. Ask yourself, is this even relevant? Will the amount of effort and time it takes to achieve your goal be worth the result?
A reliable way of working this out is to use the Pareto 80/20 rule. The rule says that 80% of your results will come from just 20% of your actions!
T – Timebound.
Including a specific date or time by which you would like to have achieved your goal helps provide incentive and keeps you on your toes! Nothing like having a deadline to get your butt moving!
Having a timeframe will also enable you to work out how you are going to put your plan into action. E.g. A goal to lose half a stone in 4 weeks would mean you’ll need to drop 1.75lbs a week.
Wait! Don’t stop there, get ridiculously BIG when you set smart goals!
- See the big picture
- Free your mind a willpower
- Be in control
- Be able to concentrate on each task
- Achieve results
- Stay on track
- Be satisfied with your life
How to do it –
- Take some alone time
- Think about the things that are important to you
- Write down the areas of your life you would like to improve or changes you would like to make.
- Start with the most critical improvement
- Divide your goals into smaller sub-goals
- Make them smart goals
- Celebrate your achievements and success
If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.
Set smart goals for your mental health
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is often the initial go-to treatment for therapists and mental health professionals. Smart goals are a core strategy when taking charge of your mental health.
Whether you’re dealing with depression, low-self esteem, low mood, chronic anxiety stress or out of control anger; setting yourself smart goals helps maintain your focus on where you want to be. Mental health issues can be confusing and frustrating at times but using smart goals as a “road map” can help you navigate your recovery more easily.
I’ve been setting smart goals for a while now, and I have noticed an improvement in my mental health. Achieving a goal you set no matter how small makes me feel proud and motivates me to carry on being proactive in my recovery.
Do you want to make a significant change in your life?
I challenge you to set yourself a ridiculously big smart goal, choose something you would like to have achieved in 12 weeks time (this quarter). Use this workbook to set smart goals and get started today.
I’ve designed the Goal Setting workbook to take you through the entire process; It will help you set smart goals and track your achievements along the way.
You’ll be able to write down your most important, BIG goal for the quarter. Following that, you’ll set three smaller monthly goals. Then, you will break your goals down even further by setting weekly and even daily goals!
Phew, you’ve got no excuse now, have you!!!
Change is achievable if you truly want it, you just need to know where to start.
If you want to make some significant adjustments in your life and you want to achieve something different, set smart goals today! Your big goals should scare you because once completed these are the goals that will change your life.