Achieve Your Goals – Even When They’re not SMART!
If you’ve read elsewhere on this site about how to meet your goals, you will notice I often write about defining them as SMART goals. SMART goals give you a great way to be specific about what you want, defining when and how you want to move your life forward.
Sometime your goals will not fit into this mould. What if your long-term aim is to spend more time with your family or improve your relationship with your partner?
As these things cannot be measured and tracked that easily you may find that you often start with great intentions but after some time life gets in the way again, or you have no clear idea about how to complete what you set out to do, so you slip back into old habits and routines.
You can still achieve your goals using a different approach for these less tangible aspects of improving your life.
Seven Steps to Achieve Your Goals
- Consider your overall life plan.
- If you haven’t got one then spend some time thinking through your life priorities and what makes you ‘tick’. Is your health and well-being very important? Do you want to feel healthier? Think of steps you need to follow to progress towards this goal.
- For example, plan in more exercise into your life or ensure you get regular health checks.
- One Thing at a Time!
- Focus on one area of your life at a time. It takes time to change habits so once you have mastered a change move on to the next. Focussing on several things means that you lose track and slip.
- Reflect on your Reasons
- It is important that you feel motivated to achieve your goals. Clear reasons will help. This goes for SMART goals too!
- Remind Yourself
- Post its, computer or phone based reminders are all ways of helping you stay focussed. Try not to nag yourself too much though as you will just ignore tasks you don’t want to do. (Go back to your reasons if you find this happening.)
- Make Time
- Find a convenient time to do any tasks for your goals. Make sure it will fit into your lifestyle easily. Change is hard enough without you making it any harder for yourself. If exercise is the goal and you are a sociable person then consider pairing up with a friend to workout together. If you find it easy getting up in the morning go for a run before breakfast.
- Slips Happen
- No-one is perfect, and as long as you can focus on making progress and not on achieving perfection you will be able to move steadily towards your goal. Sometimes life gets in the way. Looking to eat healthier but going on vacation? Build it into your plan – allow yourself the time off. You may find that by giving yourself the adult choice you actually don’t stray so far anyway!
- Stay Motivated
- Even if your goals aren’t measurable try to find things that prove to yourself that you are on target. If you wanted to spend more time with your family keep a calendar or photo album of time spent together.