In my newest book, Mastering the Mind, Body and Spirit: Secrets of Black Belt Peak Performance, I dedicate an entire section to the importance of developing SMART goals. The reason I did this is I’ve been using this concept to help create my goals for over 30 years.
After all this time I can tell you with full confidence that this process works!
So today, let’s talk about creating SMART goals and how you can use them to change your life.
Why Don’t People Just Change?
The biggest reason people struggle with change is because changing is hard. I’m sure you know people who have started a new diet or workout routine and fail within the first few weeks.
I want you to know there’s no shame in this. It’s quite common.
But why is it so difficult to change our lives? The real answer to this question lies within two critical concepts.
These are what goals to set and how to measure them. Both are addressed with the SMART goal setting process.
Today, we’re going to explore how these two concepts can work almost magically in your life. You’ll also discover how they can help you set the kind of goals that will allow you to achieve lasting change and through that change, authentic success.
What Are SMART Goals, and How Do They Work Magic in Your Life?
The purpose of a goal is to move you from where you are now to where you want to be in the future. They are the first step you need to take to turn your life around.
Without goals, you have no direction or focus. Goals concentrate your attention on what you feel is important in your life. This gives your mind something to aim at and helps you stay motivated.
How can SMART goals work magically in your life?
Goals do three things for you.
- Goals give you a clear direction.
- They help keep you motivated.
- And they hold you accountable.
When you set definitive, attainable, measurable goals, you are leveraging your mental powers to help you achieve lasting change so you can start getting the results you want.
For example, if your goal is to get down to a certain weight, you are more likely to stick with your diet and workout routine if you have a goal of getting to that weight by a specific date.
Why You Should Set SMART Goals
One of the best ways to succeed with your objectives is to set SMART goals.
A SMART goal is one that is:
- Specific. You can describe exactly what you want.
- Measurable. You can measure your results.
- Attainable. Your goal is one that has an excellent probability of success.
- Realistic. Your goal must be realistic for your needs, time constraints and circumstances.
5.Timely. This is the date you set for your goal’s completion.
For example, rather than setting a goal to “work out more,” set a goal to “work out for 30 minutes, three times per week.”
The reason SMART goals work so well is they help you build on your past successes. By setting small, achievable goals, you build momentum and boost your confidence to attain even more challenging goals.
As best-selling author James Clear points out, “The most effective way to achieve long-term goals is to break them down into small, manageable steps that you can complete today.”
So, instead of creating gargantuan, unrealistic goals, set small attainable SMART goals and build up.
Why Should You Set Measurable Goals?
Peter Drucker, the management consultant, and author, once said, “What gets measured gets done.”
While he was using this quote to refer to business progress, it also applies to you. In order to change your life around, you need to measure your progress.
Measuring helps you stay on track and allows you to make adjustments as needed. It also lets you see the progress you are making, which helps you stay motivated.
Some benefits of using the SMART goal system to set measurable goals:
- Measurable goals help you stay on track and make any adjustments necessary.
- They motivate you to keep going as you see your results.
- Research suggests that people who set and track progress are more likely to achieve their goals.
- It helps you focus your efforts. Measurable goals make it easier for you to direct your energy and efforts toward achieving that goal.
- As Peter Drucker pointed out, measurement holds you accountable. If you have a goal to lose weight and do not see results, it may be time to reassess your diet and workout routine. However, if you are seeing progress, it will help keep you motivated to continue working towards your long-term goal.
How often should you measure your progress?
For SMART goals to work, you need to measure your progress regularly. But keep in mind that the type of goal will dictate how often you need to do so.
For example, if you plan to lose weight, weigh yourself once a week. However, if your goal is to save money, track your progress monthly.
The most important thing is to stay consistent with how you do your measuring.
Remember to Celebrate Even Small Wins
The purpose of developing SMART goals is to help us improve different areas of our lives. Whether it’s a health goal, a financial goal, or a business goal, progress helps us feel good no matter the size of the achievement.
By celebrating all our accomplishments, we reaffirm our decision to put in all the effort necessary to make the change. This self-acknowledgement encourages us to continue. It also boosts our confidence and self-esteem.
Another great reason to celebrate small wins is it inspires us to continue along the path to achieving our big goals.
So, make sure you celebrate your progress, no matter how small. This will help you keep moving towards your goals!
Here’s some ideas you can use for celebrating your small wins:
- Use social media to share your progress with friends and family when you achieve a small goal. This might even motivate them to begin using SMART goal setting in their own lives.
- Journal your achievements. This helps you keep track of your progress in real-time. You can also look back at where you started and reflect on how far you’ve come towards achieving your long-term goal.
- Give yourself a treat that is in-line with achieving your goal. For example, if you move five pounds closer to your ideal weight, buy yourself a new pair of walking shoes.
Make sure you celebrate your accomplishments, both big and small. It’ll help you stay motivated and on track for the changes you want to make.
Looking Toward the Future
Changing your life around is attainable if you have a plan and do the work.
This is the purpose of creating SMART goals, to move you to that future vision you have for yourself.
Goals are essential because they help you focus your efforts, stay on track, and make progress. By measuring your progress, you’ll stay motivated to continue on the path to achieving your long-term goals. Your measurements will also help you make any necessary adjustments, quicker and easier.
Make a habit of setting goals. Then measure your progress, and celebrate your accomplishments, both big and small.
With consistency and dedication, you can achieve anything!
Setting SMART goals can help you move to the next level and achieve the wonderful things you want to achieve. If you want to learn more about SMART goals and achieve at a peak level then pick up Mastering the Mind, Body and Spirit: Secrets of Black Belt Peak Performance, today!