Quit Making Dumb Goals. Make them S-M-A-R-T.

I teach a lot on goal-setting at various conferences and with my coaching clients. Depending on my time with them, I may delve deeper into other related issues, but a core piece of my goal-setting process is the SMART method.

The SMART method is pretty easy and simple to remember. It’s one of the reasons I use it. It stands for…

S- Specific

M- Measurable

A- Achievable

R- Results Based

T- Time Oriented

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Here’s an example from my own life…

At the beginning of the year I weighed 243 lbs. My goal for the end of the year is to weigh in as a light heavyweight at 206 lbs or less. That means a loss of 37 lbs for the year, 3.08 lbs per month, or 0.71 lbs per week. Now this is a SMART goal.

Specific– Weigh in at the end of the year at 206 pounds or less.

Measurable– I can look at the scales and see if I’m on track or not.

Achievable– 0.71 pounds per week is very achievable and healthy. Something crazy like 5 pounds per week would be unhealthy.

Results Based– The entire goal is based on my weight results.

Time Oriented– Get it done by the end of January 31. Maybe if I do better than expected I can eat more junk on New Year’s Eve to celebrate the end of the year and meeting my goal.

As of my weigh-in on Monday I’ve lost 5 lbs in 7 weeks, which is 0.71 lbs per week, give or take 15 or more decimal places. I’m right on schedule so far. This is even better than you think because I started my new lifestyle change halfway into January. I’m still going to stick with the beginning of the year as my start date though.

That’s it. I’m doing great on my plan, have set a great set of goals, and I’m well on my way to success. I want you to do the same. I recommend starting small, like this…

  1. Take something you consider a goal or a dream. It could be better fitness, a cruise vacation, or anything that sits unaccomplished.
  2. Grab a piece of paper and write that goal at the top.
  3. Go through the SMART method with your goal. Do not skip any steps. If it doesn’t fit SMART, then you may need to change the goal so that it does.
  4. Now complete it.

I hope this plan helps you. If you would like to delve deeper into goal-setting, please get in touch. I frequently speak at conferences on this topic and also use it to coach individuals in high stress/high danger occupations in career transition.

This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at www.drdavidpowers.com. Thanks for reading!

Links-

My fave goal-setting book by Brian Tracy

Disclaimer- I didn’t invent the SMART method. I first heard it taught in college. The method was first presented by George T. Doran in a 1981 issue of Management Review. 

You’re Never Too Old for Adventure

As part of their homeschool I’m doing a bit of a psyops/Napolean Hill tactic with my kids by exposing them to success on a constant basis. I worked through Dan Miller’s free goal planning book at the end of the year with my 11 and 8 yo boys, and now they’re set with pages of plans, dreams, and action steps.

Each of them identified a basic career goal to work toward.

  • My 11yo wants to be a pro basketball star (or baller, as he calls it).
  • My 8yo wants to be a running coach.

So, each day I have them engage in some sort of media that shows people doing what they want to do. It ranges from magazine articles to Youtube videos.

My little runner and I watched this video the other day about a guy way past his prime at 65 who refuses to quit and still wants to get back and do another 100 miler. Even if you’re not a runner, I thought some of you might enjoy it as well, simply for the inspiration that age doesn’t matter. It’s simply an excuse if you let it stop you.

You can find the video right HERE.

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This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at www.drdavidpowers.com. Thanks for reading!

PS…Age is one of the excuses I counter in my keynote session Top Ten Reasons to Fail. If you’d like me to present it to your organization, give me a call.

Link-

How do I think and grow rich?

Who is this crazy Dan Miller guy?

How old is too old to be awesome?

My Personal Harajuku…Crap on Goals

I just sat in on a class at Horry-Georgetown Technical College (HGTC) in Myrtle Beach SC as part of their new Lead & Inspire program being headed up by my good friend Cindy Ott. I’ll be teaching part of the program soon myself. I’m doing this for two reasons. Number one, it’ll expand the reach of my services by partnering with a great school. Number two, I’m a HGTC alumnus. My first two Associate degrees are from there, and it’s a pleasure to be walking the halls as part of the faculty.

Today’s class was Managing the Process taught by Kimberly Raymond. A great class but I’d like to focus on the goal-setting portion. Ms Raymond used the SMART acronym to expand on the process of goals. If you’re not familiar, or if you are and you’ve been too lazy to use it, it’s a great method for setting awesome goals. Chris Guillebeau hit on goals in his recent blog post as well.

S- Specific

M- Measurable

A- Achievable

R- Results-Based

T- Time-Oriented

Ms Raymond used her own weight loss goals as the example, so I did the same and mapped out my personal weight loss goals during the class. I’ve set general goals and made great progress, but I had yet to make it SMART.

So here we go…

At the beginning of the year I weighed 243 lbs. My goal for the end of the year is to weigh in as a light heavyweight at 206 lbs or less. That means a loss of 37 lbs for the year, 3.08 lbs per month, or 0.71 lbs per week. Now this is a SMART goal.

As of my weigh-in on Monday I’ve lost 5 lbs in 7 weeks, which is 0.71 lbs per week, give or take 15 or more decimal places. I’m right on schedule so far. This is even better than you think because I started my new lifestyle change halfway into January. I’ve only been actively on the plan for 4 weeks. I’m still going to stick with 1/1/11 as my start date though.

That’s it. I’m doing great on my plan, have set a great set of goals, and I’m well on my way to success.

Mucho thanks to Cindy and Kimberly for letting me sit in on the class. I’m looking forward to teaching with you soon.