“What do we know about change? Change is possible… Lasting change is best… Change is a challenge… Change is possible.” –Dr. Michael Vallis
Previously, we discussed three important steps to help achieve change2. This week we’ll be discussing how to start on your personal path. If you were to ask Peter Pan, he might tell you to “take your second star to the right and [then head] straight on until morning”. Seem a little unclear or even bizarre to you? That’s because trying to follow someone else’s path may not work for you. That’s not to say that others can’t help you along the way, or guide you – but your direction and your goals are personal. Ask yourself: “What is important to me? What do I want or need? What am I willing and able to commit to?” This post is about clearly defining your goals.
Remember those life changing thoughts you had on New Year’s Eve? Now it’s time to mold and shape them into a plan that will help move you forward. Close your eyes (after you finish reading this sentence of course) and visualize yourself having reached your goal; consider every detail from how you look, how you present yourself, and more importantly how you feel. Take that moment now.
Got it? Now reflect on what you saw. Setting a goal you can actually see yourself achieving is a significant and fundamental step. Are you truly ready to take steps forward towards your goal? If your answer is yes, then it’s time to get SMART.
This week we are only taking one step, but it’s a big one. This means creating a personal goal that is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound (SMART)3. So what does that mean? Let’s take a look at an example.
Look at the difference between the original and SMART goal below:
Original Goal: This year I want to lose weight.
SMART Goal: Starting on January 10th, I plan to go (1) go to Zumba class twice a week, (2) swap cream for 2% milk in my coffee and (3) drink water instead of pop at lunchtime.
See the difference? When you’re setting your goal try to think of it a journey towards the end destination. In other words, you know the general geography of where you want to go, but you have yet to plan the path(s) you will take to get there. It’s time to plan and define your path. This week it’s time to set your own goals. Write them down, post them up, and be proud of your commitment to yourself. This isn’t going to be easy, but it’s going to be worth it.
THIS WEEK: One Big Step on the Path to a Better You
Create a SMART goal(s) to set yourself up for success!
Do you remember the steps from last week? Take a moment to consider them again.
LAST WEEK: Three Big Steps Toward the Path to a Better You
Accept the fact that change is hard, and it takes time.
Love yourself. Be positive about your own change and don’t put yourself down.
Find your drive, your motivation.