Saturday, January 11, 2014

The SMART method of setting goals

 By Mary Kennedy
     Now that January 1st has come and gone, I bet quite a few of you have made some resolutions for 2014. It might be better to call them "goals," because "resolutions" has such a do-or-die sound to it. As a clinical psychologist, I help clients identify behaviors they'd like to change and I recommend the S.M.A.R.T. Just five easy steps, here they are.
S. SPECIFIC. Be sure your goals are specific. “I want to eat healthier meals” is not specific. “I will eat three servings of salad and five servings of fruit a week, and eliminate sugary drinks from my diet” is specific.

M. MEASURABLE. “I want to be thinner” is not measurable. Instead, replace it with, “I want to lose twenty pounds.” This is something you can measure, the scales don’t lie. Either you lose twenty pounds or you don’t.

A. ATTAINABLE. “I want to take the family to Hawaii for two weeks and stay at a five star hotel” may not be attainable if you’re on a tight budget. A more attainable goal might be a week-long stay in a Myrtle Beach condo.

R. REALISTIC. “I want a 6-figure salary in finance even though I’m terrible with numbers and I don’t even have a GED.” This is unrealistic. A more realistic goal might be to return to school, get a college degree and work in the banking industry.
T. TIME-BASED. The difference between a “dream” and a “goal"” is that a goal has a deadline. “I want to write a best-selling novel," is not time-based. “I will write 1,000 words a day until I complete a full-length novel in three months” is.

With the SMART method, all your goals can be realized!

Mary Kennedy
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