Greetings, fellow goal-setters and achievers! At this point, we have completed a full two weeks of working toward our respective goals. With the creation of SMART (Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time Sensitive) goals, we are all now equipped to track our progress toward our goals. As we approach our third week, it’s important to ask ourselves “WHY?” Only you can answer the “why?” of your specific goal (although I highly suggest looking at Roni’s 3 part series on loving yourself) ….what I want to consider here today is “Why do we need to set goals?” Until now, I’ve only told you that I want you to set a goal….now, let’s figure out why that goal is so important to reaching success.
The most expensive endeavor of my life was graduate school. I paid nearly $50,000 for a beautiful diploma that I then had to pay $160 to frame. For the price tag of $50,160 I learned two major lessons: “What gets measured, gets managed.” The second most important thing I learned was “If you change 100 things 1%, you’ve made 100% difference.” These two lessons are applicable to nearly every aspect of life, including health/wellness/weight loss/exercise goals.
By creating a SMART goal, you were able to attach specific and measurable aspects to your goal. Instead of “lose weight,” it became “Lose 8 lbs over a period of 5 weeks.” Now you have a measurement tool – you can use a program such as a spreadsheet, an app on your cell phone, or just simple pen-and-paper. Weight Watchers got this aspect of goal setting completely right by asking members to weigh-in once weekly and measure their progress toward their goals. The “why” of setting goals is that creating a SMART goal changes a dream into an idea then into action then into reality.
The other part of a SMART goal is that it is Attainable and Realistic. There is no such thing as being on a “diet” forever; no such thing as working out every single night for the next ten years….but, if you can change 100 behaviors 1%, you’ve made 100% of a difference. You CAN choose fruit in frozen yogurt instead of candy-laden ice cream, you CAN choose to walk the dog after work before watching television, you CAN choose to switch from soda to water or tea. The “why” of setting goals is that deciding what behaviors you can slowly change so that you can great impact later. Much like a glacier carving out mountains, goals are best when change is slow but powerful.
Tell me in the comments – what are you measuring? What are some small behaviors you can change today that get you closer to that 100% difference? As we embark on week three of reaching our goals, what will you be focusing on?