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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Be SMART and then Go For It!






Hello again friends and family!

I hope everyone is doing well today! What amazing weather we are having here in Kansas...FINALLY! It actually feels like the beginning of summer (of course that was supposed to happen a while back but props to Mother Nature and Father Time for finally getting on board with our made up calendars this year!  :)

Today is all about goal setting...I know...I know. Please try to contain your excitement!

*Funny side note - why am I talking about setting goals on a Tuesday? Isn't it funny how we always seem to set our goals at the beginning of the week? "Okay, on Monday morning, I'm going to start running" or "On Sunday morning, I'm going to get my finances in order!" Why do we always put such a burden on the beginning of our weeks? Doesn't it make more sense to spread it out a little and give ourselves more breathing room? What happens if you don't start on Monday? Do you have to wait 6 more days to start that goal?!?  Ahahaha...people are silly sometimes (myself included).

Moving on...Why are we talking about setting goals today? Well....setting goals makes life easier! At least in theory :) Although it's fun to be spontaneous sometimes, goal setting gives us something to strive towards. Now, I'm not just talking about New Year's resolutions (another beginning of the week mindset??) or Spring cleaning (why is this only in the Spring?).  I'm talking about small goals that lead up to big ones. I'm talking about getting our lives on track!  Why is goal setting important to this blog? Well, if you plan on cleaning up your diet, starting a workout program, and/or going on traveling adventures...you're going to need to set goals to achieve success in all those tasks!

Goals seem so easy to set, right? Well guess what?? They are actually pretty difficult to set unless you put the proper steps into place first. A lot of people tie their goals into their dreams and then feel sorry for themselves when those dreams are never reached, due to their inability to set SMART goals to get there.  Think about it.

Now, I am a huge list maker! Anyone who really knows me will tell you that I have lists upon lists in my apartment. Sometimes I don't even remember making them, which defies the point doesn't it? Ahahaha. I can't tell you how many times I've made a grocery list and then found myself at the store with the realization that the list is sitting on the kitchen counter. That's where my to-do list comes into play - it's my back up in case I forget anything like: make grocery list on phone so that you have it at the store!  :)  Lists are important because they are a plan for the day (or at least for tasks in your day).  The plan for the day is actually a plan to meet goals for that day.  Going to the grocery store may not sound like a goal, but when it's time to feed the kids or your "starving" husband or wife and there is no food in the house...you quickly realize that it should be at the top of the goal list, right?

So...here is my first challenge to you! It's only a small challenge to get you started (the bigger one starts tomorrow...so check back!). If you noticed the image at the beginning of the blog, it spells out what a SMART goal is for those who don't know already. When setting a goal, no matter if it's to lose weight, start a business, clean the house, find a relaxing activity, etc. it's important to make sure that the goal is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.

Being specific is important. Too many people set extremely broad goals and then get upset when they just can't seem to get any further. If the goal is specific, it's A LOT easier to see the path towards it and know when you are getting off track.

It must be measurable...how else can you tell if you are moving towards it if you can't measure your progress?

It must be achievable...Now I'm a big believer that we can do anything we set our minds to, but in doing whatever it is, we have to allow ourselves the time to get there. For instance, if you want to lose 20 pounds, you cannot set a goal to lose it in one night. Setting a goal to lose the weight is fantastic, but it needs to be an achievable and healthy goal.

The goal must be relevant to your specific situation. If you want to be an astronaut, then it probably wouldn't make sense to include under-water basket weaving in your list of classes at school right? (Although astronauts do train under water...I haven't figured out a way to make weaved baskets relevant in space yet :) 

Lastly, your goal must be time-bound. Don't let the word "bound" make you feel intimidated! It's just a word people! A time limit on a goal is an excellent motivator. You would probably try harder to reach your goal if you had a time-limit on it right? Like, "I want to get into running shape by September so that I can participate and place in the half-marathon in October" or "I want to have my garage organized by November so that I have room to park my car inside of it before snow falls" (or whatever your goal may be :).

Challenge: 


  • Think about something specific that you have been wanting to do and write it down (any goal, big or small) on whatever paper you can find right now (or on the main screen of your phone or computer). 
  • Determine whether the goal is measurable, achievable, and relevant. If it is, keep it as the goal. If it's not, try to set a goal that matches all those requirements. Then set a time limit for the goal and write that down too.
  • Post that goal up where you will see it most (which would be the refrigerator for me...seems like I'm always getting into it for some fruit or yogurt now days :).
  • Read the goal out loud to yourself every time you notice it...YES...every time! The more you voice and visualize something, the more likely it is that you will stay focused on it and achieve the goal.
  • Track your progress towards completing the goal each day with a reward system. If you're goal is to organize the garage and you find yourself half way there on the half-way mark for your time limit, give yourself a little gift like a nice cold beer to reward yourself for staying on track (that's AFTER you've reached halfway....not before! This is not an excuse to go party down in your cluttered garage and get nothing done. :)  IF your goal is to lose weight or inches, celebrate with a little reward like a massage or a clean dessert once you find yourself half way there (that's CLEAN dessert...not a time to carb-load with chocolate all over your face from those delicious strawberries at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.
  • Once you find that you have completed your goal - set a new goal to help yourself stay on track. So many times I've had friends tell me "I lost all the weight and then I didn't have another goal to keep me going, so I lost motivation and got off track." You gotta keep it up people! Discipline is key.
I would love it if everyone would leave a comment posting their personal challenge (if you feel comfortable sharing) so that we could all cheer for each other along the way! I'll start off: My current personal challenge is to compete and place at the WBFF (World Bodybuilding & Fitness Federation) competition in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma during the first week of October, 2013 either as a fitness diva or a bikini competitor.

Now, have a blessed day and strive for that goal!

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