This year seems to be zipping by. The third quarter is already here so it's time for me to reflect on last quarter's goals and set some new ones. Last quarter my goals were specific, one-time goals, most of which I achieved. This time around most of my goals will be more involved and will run the entire quarter. One areal I'm going to focus on is health and fitness. I'm a list maker and journaler (as well as a bloger), so to keep track of my progress, I've purchased these adorable journals at a local office supply store.
I've done a bit of research on successful goal setting and achievement and several times have run across the SMART system. SMART is an acronym for the elements of a good, achievable goal: specific; measurable; achievable; realistic; and time bound. Oftentimes, we set goals for ourselves that are unrealistic and we set ourselves up for failure. Think about New Year's Eve resolutions to quick smoking or trying to lose 25 pounds just before a class reunion. More times than not, these attempts result in failure and disappointment. Why? Because they're vague and not well thought out.
Successful goal planning requires a plan and it should be written down. Start with a specific goal. Make sure that your success can be measured. Saying that you want to be more organized cannot be measured; however, saying you will clean our your pantry, consolidate duplicates, discard expired food, group similar items, and label your containers and shelves are all measurable goals. A goal should be achievable. You aren't likely to lose 25 pounds in one month; 2 pounds a week is achievable. Keep realistic about your goals. You might want to run a marathon, but if you've never taken a lap around a track, it's not likely you'll be achieving this goal without setting intermediate goals. Finally, set specific dates for completion of both the steps to take and the completion of your goal. Without setting completion times, it's easy to procrastinate and think that you'll get started on that tomorrow that never arrives. Careful planning and following the SMART system should lead to successful goal achievement and a feeling of accomplishment.