How To Set Attainable Goals
So, the New Year is just getting started, and as with many years before you, you’ve set a couple of resolutions. Why is it so difficult to keep up with your goals as the year goes on? Because not every goal is set specifically, or with enough motivation. Whatever the reason, everyone lets a couple of goals fall through the cracks. Here’s how to set goals you’ll be sure to follow through on:
Use the SMART method
Have you heard the SMART way to achieve your goals? Broken down into facets, SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. Think of your goal, and define how it falls into each of these categories.
Make sure you goals are as clear as possible. A vague goal, such as “I want to lose weight” or “I want to exercise more” is great, yet it’s hard to gauge what exactly you’re endpoint is. Instead, be specific. You want to lose 5 pounds. You want to exercise for 30-45 minutes a day, 5 days a week. Not only does this give you more direction, but it also gives you a specific task to accomplish. And every time you do, it’ll feel like you’ve achieved something great.
Now, it’s great if you’ve started a habit that’ll help towards achieving your goal. But what if you want to end up running 45 minutes a day, but at the moment the most you can do is 20 minutes a day? No worries! That’s why this is a goal, and not something you can do yet. Measure your improvement little by little consistently. For example, start out with a 20 minute workout, work up to 25 minutes, then 30 minutes, then 35 minutes, etc.
There are more attainable goals out there than unattainable. So make sure you pick something that you really could do. For example, a goal shouldn’t be to win the lottery - that’s not something within your own control. But saving at least $100 each month is definitely an attainable goal.
Now, there is attainable, and there is also realistic. Say it would be within your control to move to a new city. But if your goal is to do it next month when you don’t have the funds or relocation strategy up yet, next month doesn’t seem realistic. Instead, try setting the goal for raising enough more or getting a new job in a new city first.
Now, setting a deadline is tricky. What if something comes up? What if you fall off schedule? Set a timeframe for your goal - achieve by the end of the year, 6 months, etc. If anything, give it the slightest bit of wiggle room, but not too much. You want to be a bit strict about it so that you know it comes to fruition. But never beat yourself up for missing a week or so. Start right back up. Good luck!