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Setting Goals That Stick: Part I

Posted on January 27th, 2014 by Stephen Hardy | Print

Here you are, one month into 2014 and despite the best of intentions you are still 10 kilograms / 20 pounds overweight and haven’t run any of the three Ultra-Marathons you said you would by the end of January.

How weak. How pathetic. Another load of good intentions down the drain. Another year you’ve let yourself go. Another year of lame excuses, no will power and no determination. But before you beat yourself up about it and give up on your health goals for 2014, let’s ask the question: Did you fail or did your goals fail you?

You’re kidding right? I’m the one who failed! I set the goal on New Year’s Day and I didn’t keep it. I’m weak. I’m soft. I’ve got no staying power. No wonder I’m fat. No wonder no one finds me attractive. No wonder I’m stuck in a job I don’t like. No wonder I’m – insert the thing you like least about yourself here

So why do our New Year’s Resolutions only end up as a To Do list for the first week of January? Why don’t they stick? Why don’t we use them to become the people we would want to be? Do we all have willing minds but weak bodies?

Well what if the goal you set on January 1 with the best will in the world was one you could never meet? What if the goal itself meant you were doomed to fail?

If you are reading this article you have already enjoyed a significant education. To access and use a computer and navigate to this website requires considerable skill and expertise. Skills you had to be taught. But were you ever taught how to set goals you could achieve and how to meet them? Sadly, very few of us were and that is why we fail.

To help you achieve the heath goals you have set yourself in 2014 and any other goals for that matter, I thought it would be good to spend some time looking at how to set goals you can achieve and how to meet them. Then you’re not setting yourself up for failure and disappointment right from the outset.

Before we begin however, it is worthwhile mentioning volumes have been written on this topic and we will be barely scratching the surface here. So while the following blogs will not be exhaustive, they are meant to be both helpful and practical.

To make goals stick they need to be SMART. While the concept of SMART goals dates back to the early 1980’s, the idea was popularised in the 2003 booklet “Attitude is Everything: If You Want To Succeed Above and Beyond” by Paul J. Meyer.

What is a SMART goal? In its simplest form a SMART goal is:

Specific
Measurable
Attainable
Relevant
Timely

But how do you set SMART goals and how do you know they are SMART? Let’s use the next few blogs to find out.

Until next time, stay happy and healthy.

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