Goal setting can be overwhelming, especially when faced with trying to change ingrained habits that are no longer serving us.
In order to make progress, it is essential to sit down and map out the actionable steps you can take to achieve your goals.
Luckily, SMART goal setting is an easy process to learn and utilize.
SMART 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 to your capabilities
To understand SMART goals let's look at some examples that would not be SMART.
Non SMART 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.
SMART goal: I will meditate for 10 minutes every morning after I brush my teeth for the next 7 days in order to develop a meditation practice.
This is a smart goal because it hits each of the 5 requirements
Specific actions are mapped out in order 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: The goal is relevant to the ultimate goal of starting a meditation practice and 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 SMART 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 20lb. 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 change that is too drastic, we end up falling off the wagon hard.
A more realistic goal could look like
SMART goal: I will eat and track 1700 calories of food each day in order to to lose 1 pound in seven days.
This goal talks about the specific actions you will take (eating 1700 calories and tracking it). 1700 calories is also measurable. 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.
Smart goal worksheet bundle
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.