There is no doubt about it—we accomplish more when we have specific goals we are working to achieve. Here we are at the beginning of 2012 many people will be setting goals for themselves in the form of New Year’s Resolutions. Here are some guidelines to help you successfully set and reach your goals.
Ask yourself, “Is this goal S.M.A.R.T.?” S.M.A.R.T. stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.
Specific asnwers the question, “What?” It is important to be specific when setting your goals. This keeps you focused on what, exactly, you are trying to accomplish. Instead of saying, “I plan to walk everyday,” say, “I am going to walk at least 2 miles a day, 5 days a week.”
Measurable answers the question “How Much?” In addition to being specific a successful goal needs to be measurable. In the previous example you can easily measure whether you have walked 2 miles per day, at least 5 days per week.
Attainable describes “How To Get It.” You need to know how you achieve your goal, then it an attainable goal. If you don’t know how your will “get it” you will probably not achieve it. It is helpful to break it down in smaller steps—achieving smaller pieces of a larger goal make it easier to achieve.
Realistic is about the “Facts.” Is is practical or even possible that I could achieve this goal? If your salary is $50,000.00 per year is it realistic to have a goal of putting $100,000.00 per year in a savings account?
Timely answers the question “When?” It is important to have a specific timeframe for your goals. Having specific timeframes for your goal and any smaller steps to your goal help keep you on track and make achieving your goals much easier. “I will set back $100.00 from each paycheck so I can buy new tires before winter weather gets here in December.”
Setting S.M.A.R.T. goals helps you to be successful in all parts of life. This is especially important in recovery since achieving goals in recovery can mean the difference between life and death.
Happy New Year!
*I have seen the acronym S.M.A.R.T. in several places. I do not know who originated this but many of the ideas in this post came from "DOING LIFE! International, Inc.”