Goals give us direction and purpose.Goals add meaning to our lives.Goals challenge us.Goals make life more interesting.Goals make life more rewarding.Goals make life better.
Life’s Greatest Lessons ~ Hal Urban
“Virtually nothing on earth can stop a person with a positive attitude who has his goal clearly in sight. ~ Denis Waitley.”
One of the most important lessons I have learned in life is success doesn’t necessarily equal fortune and fame. Though those things are nice, they are not what truly define the successful person. Success for me is that pivotal moment when you have reached one of your goals. That wonderful “Atta-boy” feel-good moment of just knowing “you did it!” So it would only go to say, to be truly successful you must first have goals. Once you have goals, you need to have a plan how to achieve them. Otherwise, how are we going to measure our success?
When I think of goal planning, I like to remember the SMART principle. It is probably the best way possible to get those goals on paper and you on your way to making them happen. The SMART principle is just a simplistic way to help you set goals for yourself. It states all goals should be:
S = Specific
M = Measurable
A = Achievable
R = Realistic
T = Timely
Specific– One of the things I have wanted to do all my life is become a runner. In school I was one of those clutzy kids that just muddled through in the shadow of everyone's spotlight. I just didn't have the confidence. But now that I'm actually seeing what P90X can do for me, I'm ready to make those distant dreams reality. Saying “I want to jog” is too vague. Though it is the desired outcome, I need to be more specific. Saying “I will jog three miles three days a week” is more specific.
Measureable—Now that I have a goal, I need to determine how I will measure my progress. Looking at the above statement, how can I be sure I am on target? How about, “I will try to increase my jogging by adding quarter mile increments each week, working up to three miles at a time.” Now I have a target and it is as simple as going to the track and counting the laps I jog once a week to assess my progress.
Achievable—Goals must be achievable. I like to remember the good old phrase, “If you can conceive it, believe it, and ACHIEVE it!” But you also need to be practical. Saying “I’m going to run my first 10k in one month” is like sitting myself up for failure. Not to mention, the possibility of injury from overtraining. Though the end result is what I want, my focus should be on the little steps that get me there. The “I CAN DO THIS”, not the “DO or DIE.” Remember, “It’s not a race, it’s a lifestyle change.”
Realistic—Goals need to be realistic for you. You know I am a strong believer in “everything is possible.” To a certain degree, that statement does hold truth. But then again saying “I will be running my first marathon in 30-days” when currently I am barely making a mile without stopping doesn’t make a lot of sense. Shooting for a three mile jog does. Keeping my perspective in check is a good way of making sure I don’t become discouraged.
Timely—You have to give yourself deadlines. Plain and simple, “Goals are just dreams with deadlines!” If you don’t give yourself a target to reach your goal, then it really isn’t a goal—it’s a WISH! Though wishes are nice, they very seldom become reality. If you want something to truly happen you have to have a target date to get there! Deadlines give us a sense of urgency. It gives meaning to taking action to make it happen.
My latest goal is to be able to jog that three miles three days a week. I'm giving myself 9 weeks to get there. By that time I will have completed the P90X Plus and moving onto the INSANITY! Yeah, you heard right. That is the next item on my fitness agenda! What's yours?
That is my 101 on Goal Setting. Now for the fun part – get out a piece of paper and start brainstorming some goals you would like to accomplish. Don’t be bashful…the sky is the limit here. Give yourself about 20 minutes. From that list pick out 2 or 3 that you really want to focus on over the next 90-Days. Now go back and reread the SMART Principle. Map out your game plan. Get started on becoming that SUCCESSFUL PERSON we all know you are capable of. Life is just easier when we have direction. Remember to visit your goals weekly and measure your progress. Make adjustments where you need to. Then by all means, REWARD YOUR SUCCESS!
Keep Bringing It!!!