Setting goals the S.M.A.R.T. way…

S – Specific – very specific, so specific that anyone could read your goal and know exactly what you want!  Answer the following questions when setting goals…Who’s involved, What do I want?, Where will this happen?  When will it happen?  Why do I want this?  What else…what do I need to learn or do to achieve this?

M – Measurable – There must be steps involved…ask how questions…How will I know I’ve reached my goal?  How many steps?

A – Attainable – What do you need to reach this goal?  You must be able to learn the new skills necessary to obtain your goals.

R – Realistic – The goal must stretch you but also must be realistic.  Deciding you want to become president at age 50 with no previous political experience is unrealistic. The goal needs to be within your reach.

T – Time Frame – You must set a time frame on your goals.  Wanting to finish a law degree with no time frame requires no motivation.  List the steps necessary for the goal and then assign a time frame for each step and the overall goal.

You have to decide what YOU want and your goals will help you get there.

Your goals have to be for you; not what you think you should do but what you want to do.

Your goals have to be very clear.  A goal is not, “I want to be rich”, it is, “I want to have $10,000 in the bank and all debt paid off.”

Your goals need to involve some action on your part.  Your goals are dependant on you…not your friends, family, the government, etc.  Your goals need to involve some work!

Remember, the last part of satisfaction is…..ACTION!!!

My friend, Jen McDonough has taken action.  Check out her new book…”Living Beyond Rich“…an awesome read full of great advice.



So, it is almost that time to start making resolutions…otherwise knows as goals!  Let’s start out with the definition of Goal…

A goal is – the result or achievement toward which effort is directed, aim.

Basically, it means what you are aiming for, where you want to go.

The study of goal setting is fairly new…around the early 1800’s but actually setting goals is not new at all.

We all start out the day with a few goals…grocery store, work, maybe even just not yelling at the kids!  We may not say, “My goal today is to not yell at the kids/spouse/dog/boss, etc.” but we do have specific things we would like to achieve every day.

Every participant in a war has a goal…to win and all their decisions are based on reaching that goal.

Roads, buildings, tourist attractions are all built with a goal in mind.  Even the grocery store is laid out with a certain goal in mind.

Hunting, exploring, farming…all have been done since the beginning of time and all have goals with specific steps to reach the goals.  The hunter wants to kill, the explorer wants to discover and the farmer wants to grow.  They all need specific tools and things need to be done a certain way to achieve the results they want.

In our day to day lives, we usually have a daily “to-do” list which is basically our goals for the day.

In the 1900’s Napolean Hill studied goals and business, his research is the foundation for many books, two of the most popular are, “The Laws of Success” and “Think and Grow Rich”.

In the 1960’s Dr. Edwin A. Locke started a 30 year study into goal setting.  He published an article in 1968 that stressed the importance of clear goal setting and coined some of the popular phrases used today.

Dr. Locke’s conclusions were:

  • Specific goals are motivating, vague goals are not
  • Challenging goals are motivating, easy goals are not
  • Specific + challenging goals are motivating,  vague and easy goals are not
  • Positive feedback, during and after taking action, inspires people to achieve more
  • A specific goal provides a huge source of motivation to actually reach the goal
  • Having goals leads to an overall improvement in individual performance

Years later, Dr. Gary Latham took another look at goal setting and confirmed Dr. Locke’s conclusions.

Most of the early research about goals had to do with employees at work.  Now goal setting research is taking a broader view looking at how they affect all aspects of our lives.

“Great, some people did some research, and goals are good, whoopee, how does this affect me and why should I do it?”, you may be asking yourself.

I’ll give you THE reason you should set goals.

Have you ever wondered, “Is this all there is?”, or “Is this what life’s about?”?  Not that life is bad but did you think there would be more…maybe more freedom, less financial worries, more fun, less surviving and more thriving?

If so, and be honest with yourself…that is THE reason to set goals.  To reduce stress, have more freedom and thrive more or whatever it is you are looking for…big or small…you must have a clear vision of your life…what you want and don’t want.  Doing the same thing you have been doing will not change your life.

Setting a new path, one with purpose and hope…THAT will change your life!  Setting goals, working towards them, reaching, celebrating and then setting more…that is what will make a difference!

Do you want your life to be the same as it is now 10 years from now?

Yes          No

Will just “thinking” about things actually change your life?

Yes          No

It doesn’t matter if you know exactly what you want or have no clue…as long as you know you want something different, something more…goal setting will take you there!

What, you are worried you can’t do it?

Of course you can do it!  Did you know that 90% of people don’t set goals.  90%!  If everyone else is broke, living paycheck to paycheck, in jobs they don’t love, in relationships that could be better (with friends, family, children, etc.), in less than stellar health, overweight, don’t have time for the hobbies or volunteer work they love to do and they aren’t setting goals….what does that tell you?

Set goals and be different!!

Next week…how to set goals!


Have a Grateful Thanksgiving!

November 18, 2012

I can’t believe it’s already Thanksgiving week! Over the past several weeks we have been discussing worry, self-talk and imagination and how they affect our ability to achieve our goals. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I want to spend a few minutes talking about…well, being Thankful. Have you ever noticed the happiest people are the […]

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Be nice….to Yourself!

November 8, 2012

Did you know that what you are thinking can affect your actual strength? It’s true. Saying negative things to yourself actually makes you weaker.  Words have great impact but the impact can go be positive or negative.   Many times we talk ourselves into or out of doing certain things.  Just like in the NYC audio, […]

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The art of Worry….

October 28, 2012

Come on…be honest…have you ever worried about something? Worry is a HUGE downer. It sucks the energy and hope right out of you and sometimes effects those around you, well, maybe most of the time! When it comes to worry, studies have shown the following statistics: 40% never happens – just not going to happen, […]

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Imagination….a powerful tool!

October 21, 2012

What a beautiful weekend we had here in southwest Virginia.  Hope your weekend was beautiful also! Now, I’m not afraid to say it…well, maybe a little…I love all the seasons and yes, that means the four letter S word…SNOW!  I love to watch the leaves turn and then I love the anticipation of SNOW! We […]

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Two weeks at a time….

October 14, 2012

Hello everyone, hope you had a great weekend! So…you have A goal you would like to work on, you know why it is important to you and you have thought about a reasonable time frame….now let’s talk about attacking the goal. Most of our goals involve changing some habits….you may want to lose weight, stop […]

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Things getting tough? You are almost there!

October 1, 2012

Hey, hey everyone! I hope you have become excited about A goal! I also hope you have a few very specific reasons why this goal is important to you. If  your goal is “to get out of debt”,  I hope you have practical reasons and also emotional ones. This week I want you to think […]

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Start with One!

September 23, 2012

Hopefully by now you have an idea of what your perfect day, week, month and year would look like and you have completed your vision board. So, the next step is to pick A goal.   Yes, just one. Look at your vision board and what would you like to see the biggest change in? […]

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Vision Boards

September 13, 2012

So last week we talked about DREAMING! Ahhhh….don’t you love dreaming about what could be? There has been an ongoing discussion on about vision boards. It sounded fun, I learned more about them at 4 Points Coaching and bought my poster board. I knew there were certain things I wanted on the board….a 4 x 4 RV […]

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