When you decide you want to do something new, or reach that goal you have always wanted, just how exactly do you do that?
Let me look at some of the things I decided when I was a child that I wanted to be:
Question: Which of these could I have achieved with a little help and encouragement from my parents?
Answer: ALL OF THEM
Which ones did I achieve? A beautiful woman - who incidentally did not know she was beautiful until she was 59! What a waste of time...wishing for something I already was.
So what exactly did I achieve as an adult?
I enrolled for university at 52, I graduated as an adult educator in transition to parenthood. I became a Doula, in my opinion more satisfying than a midwife role. I became a Clinical Hypnotherapist. I lost 3 stone in weight somewhere and never found it again! I regained my confidence for driving. I have been successfully self-employed for over 30 years.
I set TASKS and found a way to achieve each one.
Yes, I used hypnotherapy as a task for driving confidence. I used other things as well to achieve my goals because HYPNOTHERAPY is a blend of HYPNOSIS and THERAPY which requires input from the recipient and well as the hypnotist.
Back to SMART.
SMALL steps lead to a final product. You can eat an elephant in small bites ! It takes time to learn new skills.
MEASURABLE. Be exact not hazy, BE specific. Do not use words like try, the word 'try' sets you up to fail, use words like 'I will'.
ACHIEVABLE. The goal must be possible. If you can’t run for toffee are you really going to become an Olympic athlete? Rather being the best you can be would be more realistic. So the goal could read something like this: I will become the best runner that I can, doing my best all the time. To do that I will begin a program of running, eating better and getting enough rest.
Setting up your own business and becoming your own boss maybe plausible but becoming a millionaire overnight is not realistic without a lot of effort, time and hard work.
REALISTIC. e.g. does the goal suit your personality? Is what you want within your capacity including perhaps re-training? Learning new skills?
TESTABLE. How will you know when you have achieved your goal, what does success look like? What will you be able to do once you achieve the goal?
Look at your personality
If you are defensive/aggressive or forceful would you achieve in a role that required a great deal of diplomacy and patience/flexibility? So perhaps becoming a secondary school teacher would not be as suitable as being a sales team leader or a sales person, left to your own devices and given a target to achieve.
However if you have a nurturing caring personality you would probably do well as a teacher of children.
If you are flighty, dramatic and always require to be the centre of attention, with short attention span, and not known for calmness then perhaps neither position would suit you long term.
Trying to achieve and maintain a goal because it is what you have always wanted is pretty pointless, if it outside your scope of ability like being a brain surgeon or a prima ballerina! Or me deciding I want to look like Angelina Jolie!
Statements like this are actually looking at the past not the future.
'I have to'
'I need to'
They all apply pressure on ourselves.
Can we start using statements instead like:
'I would like to be able to________________'
'I can see myself being ________________'
'I know that I can________________'
'When I am/can________________my life will be improved'
Really decide where you are going and what you are after.
Try to avoid areas that would leave you without the support of others.
Build support from others into the steps of working towards the goal.
Focus on what is right and good about your goal rather than any downsides.
Trust your own ability to be adaptable and solve problems as they arise.
Focus on what excites you, motivates you.
If you love excitement and change don’t go for something that will require constant repetition.
e.g. a job as a copy typist !
If you are impatient choose a goal that you will see quick progress with to motivate you further.
WE ALL NEED TO BE ABLE TO CREATE A VISUAL MENTAL IMAGE OF OUR GOALS.
It takes time to build out picture of what our success will look like.
THINK POSITIVE, THINK POSITIVE, THINK POSITIVE
'I don’t want to look stupid
'I don’t want to be fat'
'I don’t want to be a smoker'
'I am determined not to fail'
Are all negative statements
Positive statements are:
'I want to look as if I know what I am talking about'
'I want to be able to shed surplus fat and be healthier'
'I look forward to being a non smoker'
'I am ready to succeed'
Move towards SOLUTIONS rather than away from PROBLEMS.
Do you really want your goal or merely think you should want your goal?
Are you trying to please someone else by doing what you think they want you to do or what they insist you do?
Unless you are working towards WHAT YOU WANT success will be limited.
Ignore any feelings of being selfish, ignore any feelings that you owe someone something, ignore a guilty conscience. Ignore the thought that this is good for others but not for me, I am not good enough! That is simple nonsense, you are here because your ancestors were successful at living at doing, being, surviving, it is hardwired into your DNA to succeed.
If the goal is partly to make someone else happy, then if it is only part of your goal and the other part of your goal is also to make you happy, then that has a higher chance of success.
All your goals must be of maximum benefit to yourself.
If something is distasteful to you will not be able to achieve it, i.e. a backpacking holiday along the Great Wall of China to please someone else.
List the resources you need to achieve your goals
Are they resources achievable? Can they be staged down to be achievable?
What will you do when you have achieved your goal?
What will life be like?
Do you know? Have you dreamed it? Can you feel it?
You really have to want your goals
There are setbacks, hiccups and so you need to be realistic and know that there are usually bad bits attached to success. Be ready to deal with the bad bits on the journey.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of the success you seek?
List them and work out how you will deal with them before you start.
e.g. some friends may not like the changes in me and decided to remove themselves from my life.
Once you have the visual mental image and have all four senses attached you then write at least three affirmations to go with the goal.
e..g. Language is important so try these starting points:
'I will be successful in my attempt at________________'
'I always find success at/in________________because I expect success'
'I will feel totally confident when I________________'
'I always feel confident in my abilities when I________________'
So, now YOU have a clearer idea of how to set S.M.A.R.T. goals, I look forward to hearing YOUR SUCCESS STORIES. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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