In Nursing school, almost everything had a mnemonic. You’d be surprised at how many of us passed our boards with these sweet little study buddies.
Today, I was reminded of one while watching a video, and it’s a good one because it applies to anyone, anywhere who wants to better understand exactly what a goal is.
Sure, we know the definition:
“the result or achievement toward which effort is directed”.
But what does that really entail?
The SMART mnemonic is a great tool for remembering to include all aspects when considering one. Let’s delve in, shall we?
S= Specific: you chosen goal should be outcome oriented and very specific. Don’t think “I want to get healthy” instead try “I want to lose 10 lbs.” or “I want to eat a more balanced diet by counting my calories and macros.”
M= Make a plan. Nothing happens without one. A plan consists of several (don’t make so many the steps become overwhelming!) small steps that are geared toward achieving your outcome. For instance: 1. I will cut out soda 3 days per week 2. I will drink 3 full 8oz glasses of water each day 3. I will start monitoring my heart rate and blood pressure daily 4. I will begin counting steps I walk in a day. When you’ve accomplished the ones you set initially- check off those boxes and make the next ones. It’s the only way to get from the starting point to the finale.
A= Achievable. Having a goal is pointless if the means and desire to achieve it aren’t there. For instance, you wouldn’t make your goal something impossible or unhealthy like “I want to make a million dollars this month” or “I want to lose 50 lbs. in 4 weeks”. Instead choose something reasonably possible such as “ I want to save $200 a month for emergencies with a goal of having 3 months’ worth of expenses saved up” or “I want to lose 1-2 lbs. per week until I reach my goal weight of______”.
R= Rewarding. If you make your goal something you know isn’t going to be pleasant for you or puts too much stress on your daily life, chances are you will fail. This is the step where you have to find you “why”, and only you can do that. It could be something like being able to play with your grandkids without getting winded or being able to take some time off work without feeling financially strapped. The reward has to be the key motivation for commitment and will serve as motivation when you are feeling stuck.
T= Time Framed. This is probably the most important part of all, yet it is the one that most people neglect when they start out. If you don’t have a date for the goal to be achieved, it won’t be. Nothing will happen because there’s no time limit, no expiration, no…reason to try! It will stay nothing more than a pipe dream. Remember, procrastination is not your friend.
I am so glad I ran across this gem today because I truly write these posts more for myself than anyone. I need frequent reminders to stay on track. And short cuts like these are truly invaluable to me!
Happy Goal-setting and Namaste!