2014 is coming to a close, making it the perfect time to talk about my absolute favorite subject…goals!

Now let’s clear something up right now: we are not talking about New Year’s resolutions. In my (super goal-oriented and human opinion), resolutions set us up for failure. They are often driven by a need to perform or achieve, and they lack the intrinsic inspiration necessary to reach their original intention. What I’m talking about, my friends….GOALS!

So how do goals differ from a resolution? Well, here’s my quick and easy tip list:

smart-goals

 

Get specific: What is it you want to see at the end of your journey towards a goal? Make it specific. For example:

“I am healthy.”

While this is a beautiful picture, it is not specific. A goal that’s too broad will not inspire you to take action towards it. So let’s try again.

“I celebrate my first 5K over breakfast with my friends. ”

That is specific. Moreover, it paints a positive picture – one I like to think you can capture with your camera! A goal with specificity…and positivity…will support your daily plan of action towards accomplishing it!

Make it measurable: A measurable goal is a clear goal. It is simple. And so, it automatically draws out a path for you. Let’s review the above example again. “I am healthy” vs. “I celebrate my first 5K….” What’s the difference between those two, besides specificity of course? Yep! Measurable! 5K (or 3 miles) is a calculated distance, making each day you get outside just a bit more encouraging. Maybe day 1 is a half mile, and day 2 is the same. By week 2, you have crested a full mile and you find yourself fired up by what you’ve already done. On paper, it sounds impossible, but once you start, the fun won’t stop!

Allow it to be achievable: Big goals are awesome. Achievable goals are encouraging. Find the middle ground, something only you can know!

It’s gotta be relevant: Perhaps the above goal isn’t resonating with you, because you don’t enjoy running or you have other hobbies that mean more. Setting goals outside of relevance can equate to setting goals for others, instead of yourself. If you’re having trouble identifying where to start, I suggest seeing your life in three buckets: personal, health, and career/hobby. Identify one or two goals within each bucket, and you will automatically start to see relevance. Because you know you best!

Let it be time-bound: Goals without a timeline are dreams that hang in the balance. By marking it with time (i.e. a month and year), you’ll find yourself setting up the day to incorporate a piece of that goal. Let’s use that example one last time. Sense the urgency that comes up when you read: “I celebrate my next birthday with my first 5K and breakfast with friends.” All of the sudden, you step into action! Time is not our enemy in life. When we surround our dreams with it, time becomes our ally and encourager.

 

And one last thing to clear up…while we’re at it…you do not need a new year to create goals. While it’s nice to have some “room” between the past and present, goals only require the mental space to dream and the physical space to write! Take some time today to clear out the head clutter and dream big for 2015.

Stop by on Wednesday for another take on New Year’s Resolutions…and find out what I want to be up to next year!


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