Have a Time FrameI try to use this standard whenever I make myself new goals. I like to do the monthly goals link up, so my time frame is built in. You may have monthly, quarterly, and yearly goals. They say the most successful people also have 5 year goals, 10 year goals. Honestly, I don't have that skill yet. Need to work on that.
Be As Specific As PossibleI try and make my goals as specific as possible. My goal used to be "I want to lose weight" but now it is more like "I want to lose x number of pounds" or "I want to be able to run a lap without stopping". If you leave your goal open ended like that, you are going to weasel your way out. Tough love, baby. I know this from personal experience. For example, if your goal was "I want to lose weight" and at the end of the year, you lost two pounds, but didn't gain any self-confidence, or happiness, and possibly feel even worse than you did at the beginning, is that really a win?
Looking back at September's goals (I need to do another check in.. ) I didn't follow my standards as closely as possible. "Blog More Here" is not a good goal. Maybe that's why I'm failing at it? I mean, I am blogging more than before, but am I blogging as much as I want to? No.
"Eat better" is also not a good goal. How am I going to eat better? Am I going to go low-fat, low-carb, paleo.. am I going to eat 1200 calories a day? I should've been more clear.
Have A PlanNow that you know what you want to do, how are you going to do it? One of my goals this month was to lose 10 pounds. Every day that number seems farther and farther off than what's happening, but that's beside the point. My goal was to lose weight, and I had a plan of going to my boot camp classes and eating better food. If you have a goal, you need to back it up with a plan.
Make Your Goals Measurable
Your goals need to be something that can be measured. Losing a certain number of pounds, "eating better" is not. Eating strictly Paleo is. Blogging "more" on this blog is measurable, but it could've been made even better by saying "I want to blog on Finding the Inner Skinny 3 days / week". But that goes along with being specific.
and the one I've learned most recently..
Write a blog.
Write your struggles, your triumphs, and goals for the world to see. Bare your soul. It makes you accountable, and it also gets you some new friends. I loved my old blog, because it focused on what I love, design. But many of my bloggy friends just didn't connect with it. It was very niche-y. Here, everyone relates with my struggle, thanks to a obesity epidemic and a country obsessed with getting fit and strong. (I love this new trend!) I love the connections I have with my readers now. It just more cements in my goals in my head. Every time I almost break, I think, do I really want to go on my blog and tell them I failed? I am very competitive and I do not want to fail you guys. I have, don't get me wrong, but I have failed much less than I would have if I didn't have you guys. Thanks for that.
My favorite post on goal setting is by Nerd Fitness. Steve relates everything to Nerdy stuff. I love it. He goes in deeper than I did on How to NOT Suck at Goal Setting.