Obviously, you’re open to the goal-setting process if you’re reading this post! Let me walk you through one of the best frameworks I use for setting goals. I love this framework so much, I even talked about it on Pinterest TV–check it out HERE! But first, let’s discuss why it’s important to set goals.
Why Set Personal Goals
Having personal goals can focus your attention, and give you meaning and purpose. When you achieve goals that you’ve worked so hard for, you feel a sense of accomplishment and success! That’s because you realize how you’ve grown personally and you appreciate what you’ve experienced during the journey. When that happens, you also have a tremendous confidence boost, which is one of the best feelings!
I am so motivated to write about this now because I’ve recently done a lot of thinking about my personal goals. I’ve had to look at what I said I wanted to achieve and honestly assess what’s gone well, and what needs to change. At the end of this year, I want to be able to look back and be proud of: 1) what I’ve done, and 2) how far I’ve come. The only way to do that is to re-commit to my personal goals and/or establish new personal goals!
Make Your Personal Goals SMART Goals
Have you heard of SMART goals? If so, have you used this framework before? I truly believe this is THE difference maker between just listing your personal goals and actually seeing your goals come to fruition. Let’s dive into this acronym and how you can make this process work for you. But before we get started, make sure to download and follow along with this FREE Goal Worksheet:
The “S” Stands for Specific
Whenever you are listing your goals, you need to be as specific as possible. It’s not good enough to say “I want to lose some weight” or “I want to start my own business”. You have to go deeper to clarify the goal. Explain it in terms so simple that even a 5-year-old can understand what your intended outcome is. Using the examples above, how will you lose weight…diet, exercise, or both? Or what type of business do you want to start, and what will you sell? The more specific you can be, the better because…
The “M” Stands for Measurable
If you don’t have a way to measure your goals, how will you know if you’ve fulfilled them? So, you have to find a way to make the goal quantifiable. Think of tangible ways to do this. Using the example above, how much weight do you want to lose? The answer could be 10 lbs. This is tangible and makes the goal measurable.
The “A” Stands for Attainable
This is a big one because you’ll want to be practical with your goal setting. Personal goals should be challenging because then you’ll stretch yourself and develop as an individual. However, they shouldn’t be so challenging that you don’t have a shot to reach them. Conversely, if the goal isn’t challenging enough, you won’t feel motivated to reach for it and when you do, you won’t have a great feeling of accomplishment. It’s definitely a fine balance, but strive to have goals that are the perfect mix of challenging yet not extreme (i.e., unattainable).
The “R” Stands for Realistic
You have to be honest with yourself on this one. Sometimes you have every intention of going after certain goals, yet your circumstances are gonna make it very difficult. Using one of the examples above, let’s say you want to start a business this year. However, your finances are tight and your money has to go towards paying down your debt this year. In this scenario, perhaps starting a new business isn’t the best thing to do this year. So, in terms of being realistic, think about what resources (money, time, etc.) and support (information, encouragement, etc.) you’ll need to fulfill your ultimate goal of starting a business. This year’s goal may be to build up those resources and support.
The “T” Stands for Timely
The last component is all about time. You have to call your shot and say when you want your goal to be completed. I think it’s great (and necessary) to have long-term goals, but you should focus on setting short-term goals in this scenario. Some of the short-term goals can help you achieve your long-term goals. Others will completely stand alone. But by “short-term” I mean these are goals that you’d like to achieve in the next 2-3 months, not years.
Just a Heads-up Regarding Personal Goals:
Check in With Your Progress
After you have your goals in place, it’s important to check-in and assess how you’re doing. Are you making progress, or are you experiencing difficulties? Making adjustments are ok and sometimes necessary. Life happens, right?!!
Don’t Take on Too Much
As you work towards your personal goals, you may find that you have to put some activities on hold. That is perfectly normal, and highly recommended. In fact, check out my post here where I talk about focusing on one thing at a time.
Know When to Say “No” or “Not Now”
When you start focusing on fewer things, you’ll have to say no or not now more often. Give yourself permission to do this. It’s really ok! After you’ve reached your goal, you can come back to that thing or opportunity that you said no to previously.
Now it’s your turn! Click the button below to get a FREE goal setting worksheet. Use the worksheet to plan your SMART goals and set yourself up for tremendous success this year!
Happy goal planning!
Mrs. Traylor is a Fitness Instructor, NASM Certified Personal Trainer & Nutrition Coach, AFPA Certified Prenatal and Postnatal Fitness Specialist, wife, and momma who provides actionable advice for positive lifestyle changes with fitness, nutrition, and wellness. Read about Wendy’s inspiring entrepreneurial journey, and subscribe to Wendy’s newsletter here!