Setting SMART(er) Goals

Setting SMART(er) Goals  |  Women's Wellness Planner Blog

Welcome to Day 3 of “7 Ways to Start 2017 Right!” We are so excited you are sticking with us and truly cannot wait to see all that you manifest in the new year! Have we mentioned just how excited we are for a new year?!? So. So. SO excited!

It doesn’t take long to realize that we are both all about setting and smashing goals! Maybe it’s the Type A, slightly OCD personality we both have. Or maybe it’s because we’ve seen firsthand how amazing things happen when you write them down, work hard for them, and put them out into the universe. (Okay, so it’s probably both!)

Setting goals, whether for wellness, career, relationships, mental & emotional well being, or any other facet of your life, is so very important. They help you build your very own roadmap to follow (which, if you have a sense of direction like I do, is sooo important!). They are essential for helping you turn dreams and desires into reality and for making sure you remember to fill your cup.

You run around all day taking care of everyone else and leave the tiny slice of life that’s left at the end of the day for yourself. Setting goals (and posting them where you read them often) can help you remember to fill your cup daily and see the steps to reaching those amazing and daring dreams. Knowing that you can’t pour from an empty cup + knowing the steps to become your best self - that’s pretty darn powerful.

"Believe In Yourself A Little Bit More"  |  Women's Wellness Planner Blog

That’s all well and good, but where do you start? How do you set goals for yourself? Well, there are many different techniques, but one of our favorite ways is to simply be “SMART” about it. That’s an acronym to help us remember to set goals that are Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic, and Time-bound.


Let’s dig a little deeper into what each of those means...

|  S – Specific  |

Your goals will actually be easier to meet if you’re more specific about what it is you are hoping to achieve. Instead of “I want to get in shape,” write and recite “I am able to run a mile.” Or instead of  “I am going to work on my self-care time,” write and recite “I take 1 hour per day to paint because that makes my soul happy.”

This makes it easier to really hone in on exactly what you want and how you’ll get there. Plus it makes it harder to let yourself off the hook because you know exactly what it is you mean to be doing.

Let’s talk for a minute about picking your goals. It’s tempting for me to sometimes think something like, “technically, cleaning the house helps my stress level, so that counts as self-care.” Umm, no. Chores don’t count for self-care. They are mandatory for adults (who don’t have maids or who don’t want to live in filth). Doing more chores (write specifically which ones) is a great goal; it just doesn’t count for self-care.

Another perk of making your goals incredibly specific is that you’ll begin automatically visualizing it in your day to day, which will make it easier to plan action steps.


|  M – Measurable  |

Goals must be measurable to know you’re making progress, right? Otherwise, how do you know where you’ve come from or what you’re shooting for? Notice how “I am able to run a mile” and “I take 1 hour per day to paint because that makes my soul happy” make you feel. Maybe those aren’t your specific goals (but sister, this year I WILL be able to run a mile without wanting to cry or stop!), but see how easy they are easy to visualize and track because you can measure them. Having those clear numbers and markers mean you can measure success and be EXCITED about your progress and how far you have come!

Side note: As a fitness coach, I do urge you to step away from numbers like “I will be a size 6,” or “I will weigh 145 pounds.” It’s time we get off the guilt train of being a certain size or number on the scale. You’re beautiful and perfect as you are, and should celebrate that. Yes, set goals to be healthy, but that doesn’t have to involve the scale or clothing tags. I much prefer to see women set fitness goals like “I’m able to do 40 push-ups on my toes” or “I’m able to get down on the floor to play with my grandkids and stand up on my own.” Those are still measurable, but celebrate your incredible strength and progress in becoming overall healthier every day.


|  A – Action-oriented  |

The best goals call you to action, to accountability. See the difference between “eating right” and “eating a protein-rich breakfast every day” or “getting enough sleep” and “going to bed by 11pm and setting my alarm for 7am.”  The first is vague. The second is specific and encourages an action.

Action-oriented goals = progress and consistency

Just like specificity, action-oriented goals make it harder for you to skip out out on your own goals. Later this week, we’ll discuss the importance of accountability partners and a support system and how having action-oriented goals can help them support you!


|  R – Realistic  |

Be real. The real you is the best you, always. If you are just recovering from rotator cuff surgery, setting a new personal record for pull-ups in the next two months is not a healthy goal! Going from doing zero self-care to two hours every single day could be quite a stretch.

Challenging yourself is always a good thing, but we have to keep it in perspective! Setting unrealistic, unreasonable goals could lead to you not feeling like you’re succeeding or that progress isn’t possible. This leads to a whole host of negative feelings, such as apathy, guilt, resignation or acceptance of your current state, that we are trying to avoid.

Challenge your mind and body, but be kind to it, too! You deserve it. Reach for the stars, while remembering stars are years and big trials in the making. If you have a really big goal in mind - go for it! Try breaking it down into smaller, more manageable chunks with specific milestones you are going to reach for.


|  T – Time-bound  |

Set a specific and reasonable timeframe in which you want to achieve your goals. Have a specific date, whether it’s before a certain event, the holidays, or just within a timeframe that a health professional tells you is attainable, know a specific date that you will achieve your goals. And plan a reward to give yourself when that day comes and you’ve met your goal. That’s part of why we make our Women’s Wellness Planner a quarterly book - it provides an implicit timetable for reaching your goals and helps you digest them in small chunks so they are truly attainable.

Make Your Goals SMART  |  Women's Wellness Planner Blog

Now it’s time to take out either your Women’s Wellness Planner or your favorite notebook so you get started setting your SMART goals! If you are using the Women’s Wellness Planner, you’ll notice that the space to write your monthly goals is fairly small. That’s our way of helping you keep them very specific and to-the-point. (Psst - If you don't have your Women's Wellness Planner yet, you better go grab yourself one! We are down to less than 10 left.)

This is also a great time to take another look at your 2016 goals that we talked yesterday. Had you written them using the SMART format, could you have achieved them? If you reword and revamp them, could you achieve them in 2017?

Work on setting (at least) one self-care, one physical activity, one home, and one dream big goal to accomplish in 2017. From there, you can #breakitdown for your monthly and quarterly goals. Don’t worry if you don’t 100% buy into your goals happening right now - dream big anyway!

"Dream Big, Achieve Big!"  |  Women's Wellness Planner Blog

Tomorrow and the next day we will help you with other steps to make those big dreams happen! Because they will. Believe and achieve, girl, because you are awesome!




Join us the rest of this week for Parts 4-7 of 7 Ways to Start 2017 Right. 

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