Smart Goal Setting

by Emily Clark

With the first week down of the Christmas Challenge approaching it’s a good time to remember the goals you set for yourself in taking on this challenge. If you haven’t set any yet, then now is a great time to put pen to paper and get clear about why you felt the need to give this challenge your time.

Why we need goals

  • To help keep us on track
  • They make working out efficient and rewarding
  • We progress more quickly
  • They can help us measure our progress
  • They keep us motivated

How to set goals

There is no right or wrong way to set goals but one way that can help to provide a system for success is by setting what are known as S.M.A.R.T goals;

Specific: Goals that are too vague and general are hard to achieve, for example ‘I want to get fit’. Goals that work include specifics such as ‘who, where, when, why and what’.

Measurable: Ideally goals should include a quantity of ‘how much’ or ‘how many’ for example drinking 2 litres of water per day or making it to 5 classes each week. This makes it easy to know when you have reached the goal.

Achievable: Goals should be challenging, but achievable. Goals work best when they are neither too easy or too difficult. In many cases setting harder goals can lead to better outcomes, but only as long as the person has the ability to achieve it. Setting goals which are too difficult can be discouraging and lead to giving up altogether.

Relevant: The goal should be important and beneficial to you.

Time-related: ‘You don’t need more time, you just need a deadline’. Deadlines can motivate efforts and prioritise the task above other distractions.