Let’s talk for a minute about a little thing called New Year’s resolutions. And, let’s talk about how much I don’t believe in them. I’m much fonder of goal setting.
I’ve been CEO of oranj fitness for over 12 years so trust me when I say this. It’s typical to see people setting New Year’s resolutions on January 1st with so much purpose and passion, only to see them fail within the first two weeks of trying to accomplish them. We’ve all been there: myself included. This is very normal. It takes 21 days to start a new habit and most people drop off of their New Year’s resolutions within the first two weeks. A big reason for this failure is resolutions are typically just “hopes and dreams.” Don’t get me wrong, there is usually passion behind the resolution, and a true desire to achieve it. There are not however, a lot of tangible, quantifiable measurements of success like there are with goal setting. Resolutions are vague with no sense of direction. Goals are the opposite. Setting Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely goals (aka SMART Goals) have been proven to be much more effective in evoking change than setting a resolution.
I have been actively working with people on how to achieve their ideal lives through goal coaching for approximately 15 years now and it fills my heart to see how much success my clients are creating in their lives. To see them form a healthy balance between work, personal life, and career really pulls on my heart strings.
I’m going to share with you some templates I use when teaching my Business 101 course with oranj fitness and conducting goal coaching sessions with my clients. I would suggest printing these templates and filling them out as you read the rest of this blog post.
Page 1 – My Ideal Life in 10 Years
I like to start my goal coaching session with some visualization of what our ideal life looks like ten years from now. Yup, ten years! On page one you will see that I broke out the visualization form into three colored sections. Blue for all of our career focused goals. Pink for all our personal focused goals. And green for all of our health related goals. In these sections I’d like you to take a moment and write out (in point form or sentences) what your ideal life looks like ten years from now in all those different categories. Don’t worry about putting them into the SMART context yet. Just start writing and visualizing! For example, in the blue “Income” box fill in how much money you would like to be earning ten years from now. There could be multiple revenue streams depending on your ideal life so make sure you include all of them. In the pink “Home” box fill in details of what your home looks like. How many bedrooms does it have? What size is it? What is the color of your ideal home? Write down as many details that you can think of that would make it the perfect home that you are living in ten years from now.
Fill out each box and then move onto page 2.
Page 2 – Setting SMART Goals
Now, we talked about what SMART goals stands for, let’s dig a bit deeper into what each acronym means.
Goals that are specific have a significantly greater chance of being accomplished. Some questions to consider are the following:
- Who is involved in this goal?
- What do I want to accomplish?
- Where is this goal to be achieved?
It’s important to have a way to measure your goals. If there are no criteria for measurement, you will not be able to determine your progress and if you are on track to reach your goal. Some questions you can ask yourself are the following:
- How many / much do I have to achieve and / or accomplish?
- What is my indicator of progress that will ensure I meet my goal?
A SMART goal must be attainable. The goal should be stretched to make you feel challenged, but defined well enough that you can actually achieve it. Some questions to consider are the following:
- Do I have the resources and capabilities to achieve the goal? If not, what am I missing?
- Have others done it successfully before?
- Is this proven to be achievable?
When we chat about the realistic aspect in goal setting, it’s important that the goal can be realistically achieved given the available resources and time. Some questions to consider are the following:
- Can I reach this goal?
- Is the goal reachable given the time and resources?
- Are you able to commit to achieving the goal?
With regards to time frame, we want to ensure there is a start and finish to each SMART goal. This time frame creates a sense of urgency to achieve the goal. Questions to consider:
- What is the deadline I need to have this complete by?
- By when do you want to achieve your goal?
- Are there any outside factors I need to consider when achieving this goal?
Page 2 – Trickling Back on the timeline
Now that we have broken down what SMART goals mean and how we should write them, let’s talk about the trickling back effect. In order to be the most fulfilled on setting goals, I find it’s best to start with your ten-year goal and trickle down to your five-year and one-year goals from there. I call this a SMART goal pathway. These one-year and five-year goals turn into great touch points to ensure you are on track to achieve that ten-year vision.
Page 3 – Setting your SMART Goals
Page three is a template you can use to start filling out your SMART goals. You can see it’s broken in three sections: health, career, and personal. There are two sections under each category where you can start writing out your ten-, five-, and one-year goals. What I like to do is the following:
- Refer back to your ten-year vision and choose two goals to write on from each category of health, career, and personal.
- Ensure the goals you are setting are challenging enough that you only need to set two for each section. Six in total. Make sure they are a push goal and if you achieve those six goals in ten years you will be very happy with your accomplishments.
- Set one ten-year SMART goal. Set the five-year SMART goal and then set the one-year SMART goal that all relate to achieving the ten-year goal.
- Complete step three for the remaining five goals.
- Once you complete writing all six goals go back and review them. Do they need any tweaking or adjustments? Make any adjustments you see fit.
- Once you are happy with all your goals, put them in a place where you will see them on a regular basis and remind yourself daily of what you are trying to achieve.
I hope these points and goal setting spread sheets help you out on achieving your ideal lives. I look forward to hearing about all your successes in the new decade to come!
CEO and Co-Founder