To be successful with your goal, you must be goal smart.
To recap, in Part one, you worked out your personal values and the things you considered most important to you, Activity Goal Setting Guidance. In Part Two, you learned how to clarify your wants, using the Health Womens Wheel. By now, you will have a clearly, written smart goal, using the Free Goal Setting Forms (provided for Members only).
The objective at this stage of your goal smart goalsetting activity is to review your already written personal goal to ensure that it is truly goal smart.
Being goal smart means that when you write your personal goal or goals, they are specific and clearly define the positive changes you want to bring into your life. This is by no means the only goal smart criteria! You will also need to phrase your goal in positive terms, using positive language. That means - no use of the terms 'try, attempt, must, must not' etc.,
Do any of the following represent one or more of any of your own written personal smart goals?
Example of goal-setting with negative focus
Example of goals that are vague
If we consider 'take regular exercise and get into shape' for example, a definition of regular will differ from woman to woman. Regular might mean daily but it could just as easily mean weekly or fortnightly. The same applies to 'get into shape', what does that mean to you? Are you aiming to get into a dress size 10, 12, 14 or just to achieve an overall level of fitness. Be specific and state exactly what it is you want.
In the example 'eat more healthily', it is a case of what's one woman's poison, is another woman's food. Are you aiming for three regular meals each day, or are you planning on starting a low fat, or low carb diet, or are you just going to focus on portion size? You would also need to clearly define what you mean by 'taking better care of your skin. You might want to follow a strict daily facial cleansing regime, or you might just want to set a goal to moisturise twice daily, or to have a weekly facial treatment. Again, you need to be specific about what you want by breaking it down.
In the last example, try not to get so stressed; is perhaps the most vague of all. 'Try' implies you are not fully committed to your goal. It also focuses on a negative aspect of something you want to get rid of, as oppose to focusing on something positive you want to bring into your life. Your focus must always be on the positive change you want to achieve, not on what you want to let go of. Replace 'try' - with 'I will' and 'not to get so stressed', - with 'I will manage stress'.
Take a look at the following re-written example of smart goals. They are goal smart because they focus specifically on the positive changes you want to bring in.
Smart goals with positive focus
Now, let's say for example, you have identified two priority smart goals. One is a healthy eating goal and the other might be a weightloss goal. We will use the weightloss goal example throughout this personal goal settings guidance to help you in defining your own. The following questions are general in nature but with a little modification, they can easily be applied to any other of your health related goalsetting. Do also use the values exercise you carried out earlier, to help you in formulating your questions.
With a Weightloss Goal, the first thing you need to establish is, your definition of weightloss and what achieving it will mean to you. Here are some questions you might want to ask yourself. Using your Journal, record your answers to the following. Do also think of some questions of your own:
Being clear about what you want to achieve and the reasons you want to achieve it, is an important part of the goal smart, goal-setting process.
Now, do you see the quality and level of clarity you get from approaching your personal goal settings in this structured way?
After recording your answers, still using your journal, re-write your new smart goal as you feel the need. Remember, keep it positive and focused on what you want to bring in! Then summarise in one to two brief sentences, your goal smart intent, i.e. the main reasons for wanting your goal; and, stating what it will mean to you personally achieving it. Do keep this positive also and remember, you must focus on what you want to bring into your life - NOT what you want to get rid of.
Now that you have a clearly defined, written and positive smart goal, you need to specify clearly a start and end date by which you will achieve it. You will also need to write your brief personal goal smart summary. Here is an example of how you bring the two together:
Short-term Goal: Lose 4 pounds by (date)
'Starting (date) (or you could put today), I will lose 4 pounds by (date) - (keep this to a 4-6 weeks timescale). I will achieve my goal by exercising daily (swimming, walking, aerobics classes etc.,) to get into shape. I value being healthy; looking and feeling good and being able to wear the clothes I really love to wear'.
A most important part of your personal goal settings is to ensure you set yourself a reward you will reap once you have achieved your goal - something to aim for. It doesn't have to be extravagant. Just something you regard as a 'treat', - a token to say 'well done' once you've met your weekly target. (More on this in Part 5) but for now, go ahead and set yourself a small reward.
Well, that's all for Part 3 of your goal smart guidance. Do now practice writing your goals with positive focus on the benefits to you, as well as recording in your journal any ideas, thoughts or inspirations you get on pursuing your goal.
Please have your goal or goals ready for Part 4, when we will look at how to assess your personal resources and strenghts to dynamite your way to success. We will also be covering how to assess any likely challenges, barriers or blocks to your goals and how best to identify them. This is a vital part of the goal smart process, since it will also alert you to any likely pitfalls and how to effectively manage them. Make a start now by recording anything you perceive could get in the way of your smart goal.
In the meantime, you can access all the relevant goal-setting forms used throughout this series by Becoming A Member.
Until then, focus and believe!
"The will to do springs from the knowledge that we can do.". (James Allen)
The information on this site is purely of educational value and is not intended to replace your seeking medical advice. You must consult your doctor over all your health concerns.