A Dozen Things to Consider when Setting and Writing GoalsA Dozen Things to Consider When Setting and Writing Goals
Many of us have heard of the SMART technique for writing goals. We must make them Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound. Here are some additional thoughts…
1. Make sure the goals that you are setting are indeed YOUR goals. Make sure that they are things you really want, not just things that sound good to you or to someone else. Make sure that your goals are consistent with your values.
2. Goals and actions ideally work together. Each action/behavior brings you closer to your goal or takes you farther away from it. (See number 10.)
3. If meeting a goal depends on the help or support of someone else, make sure that the other person is in agreement with you pursuing your goal.
4. Write your goals in the positive. Goals should reflect what you want to move toward, not on what you want to move away from. Instead of writing “I will stop sleeping during study time,” write, “Every time I start to feel sleepy during study time, I will leave my study area for 10 minutes and drink half of a glass of cold water before returning to my study area.”
5. Make your goals measurable. (Instead of "I want to study more," you might write "I will spend 30 extra minutes per day studying my math facts.”)
6. Make your goal just out of reach, but not totally impossible to achieve.
7. Write your goals as if they have already happened. “I have successfully raised my science grade one letter since last quarter."
8. Only share your goals with those people that will support you in achieving them.
9. Use positive self talk every day. Remind yourself, “I can do it! I will do it! I am doing it!” You can then review what you have done that day that has moved you closer to your goal. See number 10.
10. Review your goals daily. Take at least one step, no matter how large or small, each day toward your goals.
11. As you make each decision during the day, ask yourself if the choice you are about to make is going to move you closer to your goal or farther away from your goal. (See number 2.)
12. Make your goals firm enough to keep you on track, but flexible enough to allow for opportunities that may arise.