Achieving Goals

This week, Brittany and I thought it would be fun to set some goals and let you watch us as we achieve them (or terribly fail). Achieving goals typically has four steps, the first is self-assessment, where you evaluate how you are currently performing in comparison to where you want to be. The next step is to actually set a goal.

You want your goal to be SMART. That is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Oriented.

S- Specific means that you are defining what you want to achieve in a clear and concise way.

M- Measurable means that you want to set a goal in a way that you can measure your progress- it is best if the goal is based on behaviors that you can measure rather than the end result. For example, rather than having a goal to lose weight, you would set a goal to engage in behaviors that lead to losing weight, such as eating a certain diet or exercising a certain amount.

A- You also want your goal to be attainable- this means that it is a goal that you are likely to meet. If you want to read more often, but you are currently never reading, you may want to start with a lower standard as your initial goal and gradually build it up. For example, you may start with a goal to read one chapter a week, and gradually build up to five chapters per week once you achieve the initial goal. By setting a goal that you are likely to achieve, you ensure that you are able to contact your reward, which will help you build your behavior. Remember- base your initial goal on where you are at now- not where you want to be. Contacting the reward is critical in reaching your long-term goal.

R- Next, you want your goal to be realistic. Is this goal something that you will actually do? For example, I would like to get into better physical shape, but I hate running. If I set a goal for running, I would never achieve it because no level of reward could motivate me to do something that I hate. It would be unrealistic for me to set a running goal, so I could set a goal to squeeze in a few days of Richard Simmons ‘Sweating to the Oldies’ instead- because I LOVE his fun spirit.

T- Finally, you want your goal to be time-oriented. This means that you should set a deadline for when you will achieve your goal. For this week, Brittany and I each set goals to exercise a certain number of times per week. This will help us make sure that we don’t go too long without working on our goal.

Once you’ve set your goal, you want to decide what your reward will be if you achieve your goal. I chose getting takeout from one of my favorite restaurants in town- I know I’ll be super sad if I miss out on my weekly takeout! You may also want to set up a punisher in case you don’t meet your goal- I’ll be donating a pair of shoes that I really like each time I fail to meet my goal, and Brittany will be deleting all social media. Choose consequences that will be likely to motivate you.

To determine whether you get your reward, you want to track how you are doing on the goal. We will attach a data sheet to this blog that can help you track your progress. This data sheet is designed to be very flexible. If you have a goal to do something a certain number of days per week, you can simply put a yes or no. However, you can also leave more detailed notes or alter this in any way that makes it more applicable to your goal.

Finally, you will want to continually self-evaluate. This means reviewing your progress and seeing what obstacles you may be contacting that keep you from achieving your goal. Follow our videos on youtube and Instagram, and share your experience with goal setting and self-monitoring. We would love to help you achieve your goals and trouble shoot.

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