The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.
— Bill Copeland
As the new year approaches and the excess of over eating and over spending during Thanksgiving set in. Many people are thinking about their resolutions. In the therapy circles we call this "preparation/determination" stage three of the stages of change. In this stage, people are ready to take action within the next 30 days. People start to take small steps toward the behavior change, and they believe changing their behavior can lead to a healthier life.
If you are a self help junkie like myself, you will notice in many of the genre's best selling books have some version of writing down your goals. Books such as, The Success principals and Think and grow rich suggest writing down goals as a cornerstone of success. Goal writing is not only included in self help and pop psychology but in well documented psychotherapy such as Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT). During the first couple of sessions the therapist will set goals with clients. This action improves client's outcomes.
Could writing down your goals be the secret sauce in achieving your desires?
Setting life goals is the fundamental key to success. Goals inspire us to create our future in advance. Setting goals allow us grow, expand, and transform our lives . You may have set goals in the past but received "wishy washy" results. That is because you may have set "wishy washy" goals. That's where S.M.A.R.T. goals come in.
Specific: Be as specific as possible. “I want to lose 20 pounds” is a good, but “I want to lose 20 pounds so that I can wear my swimsuit and look good in pictures during this my birthday trip in May ” makes it easier to visualize and achieve what you want. This sets the intention behind the goals.
Measurable: When you measure, you’ll actually see your progress and know when you achieve it. Concrete evidence helps you to manage your progress. It also gives your the confidence to move forward.
Achievable: Let's keep it real, you are not going to lose that 20 pounds over night or creating that billion dollar business in a week. If our goals are too lofty , that can lead to discouragement and ultimately quitting.
Realistic: Does this goal fit with your current lifestyle? Can you realistically go to the gym 4 hours a day, 6 days a week?
Time: Having a clear idea of your timeline creates a sense of urgency. It will help you keep from"putting it off".
Ready to write down some goals?
Take about 20 mins a write how you would like your life to look in the next 1, 2, 5 and 10 years. Then in each area write your SMART goals for each area your would like to improve. To keep your goal in the forefront of your mind, you should review your goals everyday.