Setting yourself up for success doesn’t have to be such a daunting task. All you have to do is be S.M.A.R.T.
This time of year, we usually set unrealistic goals and expectations for ourselves. We are busy with family, friends, vacations and the holiday season. We should be setting ourselves up for success, but instead we tend to set ourselves up for failure with goals that are too vague with unachievable timeframes: work out every day for one hour, keep to your regular diet, get eight to 10 hours of sleep… the list goes on. During end-of-the-year celebrations and busy seasons of our lives, we need to think realistically about what is achievable.
The very definition of a goal is “the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.” So why would we have goals that are not helping us achieve what we truly desire? The new year is approaching quickly, so I encourage you to refine your goals and make them S.M.A.R.T. Goals can be healthy if implemented correctly and using S.M.A.R.T. goals is a great way to start.
S.M.A.R.T. stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Based.
Specific: You should be as clear and concise as possible. Write down what you are specifically trying to achieve and stay away from broad and general terms. This will help you narrow your goal so you figure out how to achieve it.
Measurable: What exactly are you going to use to measure your success? Think of tangible ways to help keep track of your progress. For example, if your goal is to ride 100 miles on your bike in one month, you should schedule it out on a calendar and take into account the days you may take off.
Achievable: You should work toward a goal that is challenging but possible. Make sure you can achieve these goals within the time frame you set. Similar to our previous example, if you know you have a week-long trip coming up and do not take that into account when setting your 100-mile biking timeline, you should rethink and reschedule it.
Relevant: The goal you set should make sense and be relevant to what you are doing in life. It should align with your values, current goals and interests. If it doesn’t excite you, maybe you should rework or reconsider it all together.
Time-Based: If you are setting a deadline, it should make sense with the progress track you set and should fit in your timeframe. Set a firm but realistic deadline. All these guidelines should come together to make a goal that exhilarates you and pushes you to better your life mentally, physically and spiritually. Here are two important questions to ask yourself for any goal: what is its purpose and will it help me get to where I want to be?
If you are anything like me, you get tired of setting three to four goals a year and only completing one because you didn’t set S.M.A.R.T. goals. This year, I challenge you to set one goal for yourself and complete it to its fullest.
The Plant City Family YMCA can help you. We are committed to providing the cleanest wellness center for you to re-energize your fitness routines and a safe environment for your kids to re-engage in activities like sports and swim lessons. Our friendly, welcoming team is ready to help you reconnect with friends. And if you join by January 18, you can take advantage of a $0 join fee. Check out www.tampaymca.org and see how the Y can help you restart strong in 2021.
At the end of the day we are all human and should give ourselves grace. There are seasons in our lives where setting goals is necessary, but there are other times where rest is imperative to our health and well-being. Give yourself a head start this year by setting a goal you know you can achieve. You’ve got this.
Hannah Franklin is a Wellness Director at the Plant City Family YMCA.