SMART Goals Part 5

As the New Year begins, many people create new goals to focus on.  Unfortunately, goals of "resolutions" often fizzle out and lose their "oomph", as our motivation decreases through the subsequent months.  Why could this be?  Why do some goals seem to be met easier than others?  This week, we finish our blog on SMART goals.  Think of these goals as:  Simple, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time Sensitive.  If goals aren't all of these things, they will be much more difficult to achieve.  

Today, we focus on the T in SMART:  Time Sensitive.

How many times have we all said "I really need to start exercising", or "I really need to be more consistent in keeping my house organized"?  How about "I really need to eat healthier and lose weight", or "I really need to start volunteering/work on my relationship with my husband/stop smoking/get on a budget for spending", etc., etc.  I think you get the drift!  

Part of what makes goals unattainable is when we are vague about time frame.  Our goal is this "sometime in the future", ambiguous, mystical thing that we know we "should" do, or "need to" do, but there is no commitment to a time frame in which we hold ourselves accountable.  

Goals that have a specific time frame, or a start date (and possibly an end date, if it applies), are more than likely going to be followed through with.  Think about the difference between "I really need to start exercising" (vague) and "Starting this week, I am committing to my self care by going to the gym after work from 5:30 to 6:30 on Monday".  

Framing a goal this way makes it TIME SENSITIVE.  Kind of like when we have a deadline for a work project or financial commitment, it brings the goal from a general thing that is somewhere out in the future, to something that is in the here and now, with a specific deadline or time frame.

We hope you have enjoyed reading this week's blog topic, and hope that you are able to implement some of the tips.  Remember... SMART Goals are Simple, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time Sensitive.  Best wishes for your new year's goals!

 Joleen Watson, MS, LMFTA, NCC, is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. She enjoys doing marriage counselingrelationship counselingcouples counseling, and individual counseling.  Imagine Hope also specializes in family, child and adolescent counseling and serves Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield, and Fishers.