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October 30th, Tip Of The Week: Set “SMART” goals

Guest Author: Abby Chambers

B.S., CES, Virtual Coach, Graduate student.

Goal setting is something we do in our day-to-day lives, whether we realize it or not. Some goals might be smaller than others, like getting a load of laundry done, while some may be larger, like losing 10 pounds. Either way, goals should meet certain criteria – they should be “SMART”. SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely.

  • Specific = Specify who, what, when, where, why, and/or how when defining your goal.
  • Measurable = Break down your goal into different components to make it easier to achieve.
  • Attainable = Make sure your goal is realistic.
  • Relevant = Ensure your goal is something that will improve your life.
  • Timely = Give yourself a specific amount of time to complete your goal.

Today, you will explore things in your life that you would like to change and then set SMART goals to help you get there. 

Use the following “Steps for Change” for guidance.

Step 1: Find a time and place to reflect on a situation that bothers you or something you want to change.
Step 2: Define the problem in a way that is clear and precise.
Step 3: Identify your feelings with respect to the problem/situation.
Step 4: State your goal and what you hope to change.
Step 5: Use the SMART tool to ensure your goal is appropriate.
Step 6: Let someone close to you know your goal so they can help/encourage you to achieve it.
Step 7: Check in every few weeks and ask yourself the same list of questions to see if you notice a change and/or if you’ve reached your goal and/or resolved the problem. 

Other things to think about…..

Set milestones along your journey so you can assess how far you’ve come and celebrate your growth.  Let the people you’ve shared your goals with know so they can celebrate with you.  Getting support from your teammates, coaches, family members, or friends is very important and will help you reach your goal. Make sure you have a way of tracking your progress to ensure that you can actually see how far you’ve come and how close you are to reaching your ultimate goal!  

One way to make this task easier and feel less overwhelming is to look at the parts or pieces of your life you want to change. You can start small – like getting up before 8 a.m. – or go big, like committing to run 5 or 10k in three months. You can also think about things in your life that are not benefiting you or that are causing you stress and figure out which part of the situation you can change. Remember that baby steps are still steps!  As long as you’re moving forward, you’re making progress.   

Creating a vision board or something that you can see is a good way to motivate yourself.  It can serve as a reminder of why you’ve embarked on this journey and how you plan to achieve your goal.  Not every day will be easy, but that’s both okay and normal. Your mindset and your determination to do your best, knowing that not every day is going to be a good one, is a big part of success.  That’s why we set SMART goals. By doing your best, you’re already on the path to success.

When I need a little inspiration, I think of one of Kobe Bryant’s unforgettable quotes. “Pain doesn’t tell you when you ought to stop. Pain is the little voice in your head that tries to hold you back because it knows if you continue, you will change.”

Happy goal setting, and never give up!

Guest Tip Written By: Abby Chambers, B.S., CES Virtual Coach, Graduate Student


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