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Are Your Goals SMART?

Dec 08, 2008
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Now is the time of year to focus on setting goals for the New Year. It's also a great time to reflect on your progress over the last 12 months in all aspects of your life: physical, spiritual, financial, social, relationships, career, and others. Did you hit the bullseye in all those areas or did you completely miss the target? Either way, it's time to reset your goals and establish new priorities in your life for 2009. Everybody has goals they want to achieve. But you do need to make sure you put your goals down on paper – then you are more likely to work towards achieving them. Try setting "SMART" goals. That means your goal must be Specific, Measurable, Accountable, Realistic, and Timed.

Here's an example: You may say "My goal is to lose weight in 2009". Well, how much weight? By when? What are the action steps?

So, a SMART goal would look like this: "I will lose 25 pounds by March 31, 2009".

S – A specific amount of weight has been indicated, and by what date.

M – Measurable in terms of the weekly weigh-ins and measurements you will do to track your progress toward the goal.  

A – Find an "Accountability Partner" – someone (personal trainer, spouse, workout buddy) who will regularly check in with you on your progress and help you set new action steps along the way.

R – Be sure that your goal is realistic, yet challenging at the same time. It may not be realistic to set a weight loss goal of 150 pounds in 2 months!

T – Set a time line on your goal. This is critical – there must be an end-point where you will re-assess things and establish a new goal from that point.

I encourage you to write at  least 1 short-term, 1 medium-term, and 1 long-term SMART goal in each area of your life. Read your goals regularly and share them with loved ones who can help you on your way. Let's make 2009 the best year yet for achieving our goals!

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