We all have goals that we want to achieve in life.
Goal setting can be overwhelming, especially when trying to change ingrained habits that no longer serve us.
To make progress, it is essential to sit down and map out the actionable steps you can take to achieve your goals.
Luckily, S.M.A.R.T. goal setting is an easy process to learn and utilize.
S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym that stands for:
Specific action the person is taking to take
Measurable goal that can be tracked
Achievable goal that is challenging but possible
Realistic of your capabilities
To understand S.M.A.R.T goals let's look at some examples that would not be S.M.A.R.T.
Non ‘S.M.A.R.T’ goal: I want to start a mindfulness practice
This first goal is not very specific. How are you going to start a mindfulness practice? What actions are you going to take? The goal is also not measurable or time-bound.
S.M.A.R.T goal: I will meditate for 10 minutes every morning after I brush my teeth for the next 7 days to develop a meditation practice.
This is a smart goal because it hits each of the 5 requirements:
Specific actions are mapped out to achieve the goal of developing a mindfulness practice.
Measurement: This goal is measured by timing each 10-minute session and completing one session every day for 7 days.
Achievable: With the right tools such as a timer and a comfortable and quiet place to practice, this is an achievable goal.
Realistic: 10 minutes a day is reasonable for a beginner to practice.
Timely: The deadline for this goal is in 7 days.
Let’s look at another set of example goals.
Non-’S.M.A.R.T’ goal: I want to lose 20 lbs. this month.
This goal does not talk about the specific actions you are going to take to lose 20 lbs. It does not talk about how you are going to measure your progress. It also seems unachievable and unrealistic for the average person to lose that much weight in one month.
Setting unrealistic goals is the number one hurdle in achieving our goals.
By making a too-drastic change, we end up falling off the wagon hard.
A more realistic goal could look like this:
S.M.A.R.T. goal: I will eat and track 1700 calories of food each day to lose 1 pound in seven days.
This goal talks about the specific actions you will take (eating and tracking 1700 calories). Losing 1 pound a week is achievable and realistic with accessible tools such as a free food diary app or website. Lastly, the goal is timely with a deadline of 7 days.
Creating S.M.A.R.T goals is the first step to creating habits that stick.
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When you start seeing progress and reaching your small milestones you will gain motivation and be able to see that your larger goal is attainable.
By taking the time to sit down and map out goals you equip yourself with a simple plan that meets you where you are at.
By practicing S.M.A.R.T goal setting you are able to commit and hold yourself accountable to your transformation.
Mindfulness will help give you the awareness and space to slow down and become aware of what is really important to you and what goals you would like to achieve.
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Hi, I'm Alyssa
Mindfulness, meditation, yoga, and herbal medicine have been fundamental to my own journey in life. I hope to share my experiences and perspectives in order to inspire and connect with others.