Getting to be where you want to be – maybe like getting fitter – or preventing something you don’t want to happen – maybe like being incontinent – is easier if you set goals.
Think about what you’d like to achieve and create some goals to help you to get there.
When you’re setting your goals think about:
- What will you do?
- When will you do it, where, in which situation?
- How often will you do it?
- How long will you do it for?
Here are some more tips about setting your goals:
The best goals are SMART. SMART stands for Specific – Measurable – Attainable – Realistic – Time-based.
The reason that people recommend using SMART goals is because:
- You’re more likely to reach your goal.
- Making your goals SMART helps you to focus on what you want to achieve.
- SMART goals motivate you to stick with what it is you’re trying to do.
- SMART goals are useful for managing your time.
- SMART goals show what progress you’re making.
How to make your goals SMART goals
S = specific
Decide what you want to achieve and how you’re going to do it.
For example, I want to get fit by cycling.
A similar goal which isn’t specific would be ‘I want to get fit by exercising’.
M = measurable
How will you know that you’ve achieved your goal? You need some way of measuring it. So with the cycling example, you need to decide how far you’re going to cycle and how often you’re going to do it.
For example, I’m going to cycle to work three times a week.
A similar goal which isn’t measurable would be ‘I’m going to cycle often’.
A = Attainable
Is it possible that you’ll reach your goal? You need to set yourself a goal that you have a chance of achieving. For a goal involving exercise this will obviously depend on how fit you are.
For example, I’m going to cycle five miles in 30 minutes.
A similar goal which wouldn’t be within reach even for a champion cyclist would be ‘I’m going to cycle 20 miles in 10 minutes’.
R = Realistic
Are you motivated enough to achieve your goal and do you have what you need to achieve it?
For example, I’m going to cycle the two miles to work three times a week.
A similar goal which wouldn’t be realistic would be ‘I’m going to cycle for three hours every day”.
T = Time based
When do you plan to reach your goal?
For example, I’m going to cycle to work three times a week for a month.
A similar goal which isn’t time-based would be ‘I’m going to cycle to work until I feel fit’.
More examples of goals:
A good goal: To eat more healthily.
A SMART goal: I will eat at least two servings of fruit or vegetables at every meal for the next month.
A good goal: To get more sleep.
A SMART goal: I will be in bed by 10:00 pm every night for the next week.
A good goal: To drink more water.
A SMART goal: I will drink two litres of water every day for the next two weeks.
A good goal: To exercise more.
A SMART goal: I will take a brisk walk every morning for 20 minutes for the next two weeks.