SMART goals


Changing behavior is not for the faint of heart. Behavior modification takes hard work and dedication. It does not matter if it is winning a marathon or taking better care of your health., you must be ready to commit to hard work. Following some proven steps along the way can make any self-improvement goal achievable.

Set SMART Goals

Set SMART goals first. These goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. Without writing these goals, it is impossible to know if you are moving in the right direction. An example of a SMART goal would be setting a goal on October 1 to lose 15 pounds by Christmas or to run in the New York City marathon in 2022.

Identify the Obstacles

Make a list of all the obstacles that stand in the way of achieving your goal. Then, divide them into barriers you can control, those you can influence, and those beyond your control. While some people may tell you to ignore all obstacles and focus totally on your goal, that is not realistic. Instead, ignore those beyond your control and create a plan to handle things you can control.

Consider Stakeholders

None of us goes through life alone, so you need to consider those who will assist or stop you from reaching your goal. In particular, identify people who have already met your goal for themselves and see if they will mentor you along the way. Recognizing those who may try to stop you from reaching your goal helps you plan to overcome their objections so that you are not blindsided. Take a look at your obstacle list and see who can help you along the way. Everyone will need a great encourager who is tough enough to tell you the truth when you need to hear it.

Find Alternatives

Many people get sidetracked in meeting their goals because they see them as a one-way street where X must always follow y. Do not let yourself fall into this trap, but always consider alternative plans that can help you reach your goal.

Take Deliberate Action

While it is vital to consider alternative ways of meeting your goal if issues arrive, you must take deliberate actions to meet your goal. Start by creating a list of the steps that you think are required to reach that goal. You may have to do some research to determine these steps. Then, put them in a logical sequence. Break the steps down into smaller parts so that you can concentrate on one piece at a time. When possible, place the easiest things to accomplish at the front of the list because it is like a snowball and taking small steps is a great way to encourage yourself to take bigger ones.

Reward Yourself for Small Accomplishments

Especially if your goal will take several weeks or months to accomplish, reward yourself along the way. Like a new outfit, if you are trying to lose weight, these little treats will encourage you to keep working towards your bigger goal.

Following this simple advice can help you meet your goals of changing behaviors. While reaching goals is not for the faint of heart, the effort is worth it.