Goal setting! Add this to the list of the things I love to do. However, I can be a bit overzealous at times, and it took me quite awhile to come to accept that the way I was setting goals was setting me up for failure.
When it came to setting goals together with my husband after we got married, he challenged me on how we were going about setting the goals. Something he helped me learn was that successful goal setting starts with one step at a time. Have you ever seen “What About Bob?” Bob’s life is changed by taking baby steps in everything he does. Why is that idea so revolutionary? Perhaps it is because, at times, we get ahead of ourselves and look at the grand picture without considering the steps to success. We start well and don’t give ourselves the tools to finish well.
So, how do you set practical and measurable goals?
- Start with where you want to go. What do you want to change in your life? Let’s use the example of losing weight.
- Figure out what your goal plan needs to center around. To lose weight, you’ve decided to focus on eating better.
- Make a goal plan. To eat better, you’ve decided to create a meal plan and have one splurge day a week.
- Set a solid timeframe for reevaluating where you are at. In three months, I’ll weigh myself and see how effective my meal plans are in helping me reach my goal.
- Create a step two for something to prepare for. At the end of three months, I will add working out twice a week to my plan. (This helps those “big picture people”, like me, that just want to know we are going to get there one day and those “small picture people”, who might never add a step two without a plan.)
Obviously, this is an example, but you see how, in our example, we didn’t decide to eat clean all the time and workout every day? Those kind of plans rarely work and often lead to burnout. Steps to life change should be measurable, attainable, and doable.
Looking for further reading on goal setting? Check out this book on setting S.M.A.R.T. Goals and starting down a path to attainable improvement in your goal areas!
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