So why is this phenomenon of simply putting goals to paper so powerful?
- It causes you to clarify what you are wanting to accomplish or achieve. It helps you determine where you are headed and how you want to get from point A to point B.
- It narrows your focus. Determining specifically what you want to do, helps you be more intentional about how you spend your time. By writing your goal down and regularly reviewing it, you become more disciplined with your time.
- It helps you know when to say “yes” and when to say “no”. There will be many things that tempt you to shift your attention from your goals. However, keeping your written goals in front of you will help you maintain your forward movement.
- It helps you track your progress. When you have your goal written down you can see when you are making progress and what needs to happen to make progress.
- Make your goal SPECIFIC. Don’t just say I want to get in shape. Answer who, what, where, when, which and why in your goal. For example, To get in shape I will join the YMCA and exercise three mornings a week.
- Make your goal MEASURABLE. Be concrete in what you want to attain so you can measure your progress. I will exercise three mornings a week for 45 minutes each time and lose 5 pounds by Easter. When you don’t exercise three times a week you can see where you are off track and how to get back on track toward achieving your goal.
- Make your goal ATTAINABLE. You probably realize it is not attainable to exercise absolutely every day and lose the total 45 pounds you need to lose within the first 90 days. Look at what you want to accomplish and break it down into achievable steps. I will exercise consistently for four weeks and then evaluate if I can possibly increase or change up my exercise times, with the goal of losing 1-2 pounds a month.
- Make your goal REALISTIC. Don’t set a goal to exercise 5 mornings a week and then get frustrated with yourself when you simply can’t make that happen most weeks because of early meetings or late night events. Be careful to challenge yourself, but set yourself up for some level of success instead of frustration. It is motivating to challenge yourself, but not set yourself up to feel defeated.
- Make your goal TIMELY. It is wise to set goals with a time frame. It mentally helps motivate you toward accomplishing that goal. It also gives you perspective. If you realize you lost 5 pounds in 3 weeks instead of the 8 week time frame you set, then you may be able to adjust your overall goal.
What you do today will determine what your life looks like in December 2017.