The wonderful thing about a new year is all the hope it brings for change. For things to be different than the year before. Most people go into the new year with a long list of resolutions and lots of motivation that can move mountains.After a few weeks, sometimes days, the realization sets in that the resolutions are loftier than they had realized and then their motivation takes a dive! This year I challenge you to resolve to lose the resolutions and instead make S.M.A.R.T goals.S.M.A.R.T is an acronym for
S = Simple
A = Attainable
R = Results
T = Timely
Simple = Set simple goals that will not overwhelm your thinking about all the changes you have to make. Start off with just 1 goal. Sounds doable? After you accomplish this goal who says you have to wait until next new years to set another one.
Motivated = Setting a simple goal will help you stay focused and motivated as it will not seem so dramatic of a change. To stay motivated join with a friend or coworker that is working on the same goal.
Attainable = The goal must be attainable! Nothing causes you to lose your motivation, and in essence your goal, faster than setting goals out of reach. For example, if you have an entire house to organize, focus on one room at a time. If that still seems overwhelming then break it down even farther and focus on one section of the room.
Every time you get something accomplished in that room do not forget to celebrate your accomplishment. We have a tendency to move on to the next chore and not focus on the win of accomplishing the last chore!
Results = Results are important or there is no reason to set the goal. Monitoring your results is the way you measure your progress and decide if you are on the right path or if you need to make adjustments. We have a tendency to want fast results and to base our level of effort or motivation on how fast we are accomplishing our goal. The weight loss industry knows this about us and tailor their ads to hook you with the fastest weight loss "guarantee". This can often be dangerous and in the end derail your efforts because your expectations are set too high.Find reliable ways to measure your progress that will help you keep your motivation. For example, if you are trying to lose weight, do not use a scale.A more effective way is to use body measurements. This actually gives you a more accurate picture of what is going on than the scale does.
Timely = It is very important to set realistic time frames. If you expect to stop smoking and quit cold turkey you may have a set back as this may be too much too soon. Instead consult your doctor and look at doing a step down program. The wonderful thing about this is your time frame is set out for you. If you set S.M.A.R.T goals then you will easily be able to set one goal at a time,focus on keeping your motivation high,attain your goal, use your results to measure your progress and adjustment your time lines for a successful outcome. Once again don't forget to celebrate, in a healthy way, all the wins along the way! Celebrating is a wonderful way to reward yourself for all the hard work you put in and sets you up for your next S.M.A.R.T goal Happy goal setting! WWW.mindtools.com/pages/article/smart-goals.htm
Have a blessed and balanced day!
Melissa Smith is an LMFT in the state of Kentucky. To find out more about her click here.
Live. Life. Balanced.Today is a blog written by licensed marriage and family therapist.
For more information about counseling go to www.LifeInMotionKentucky.com