- August 5, 2014
- Posted by: Dr. Elise Cohen Ho
- Category: Self Discovery
Back to School time is here and it is at this time of year that we often choose to reassess our SMART goals.
With this reassessment, there are various questions that this period of time may bring. Questions such as “What have I accomplished this summer?” are not unique. Thoughts, and doubts, on summer diet and exercise accomplishments are at the forefront of people’s mind. There is also a tendency, much like in January, to put some extra thought into career goals. We may think that now that the kids are back in school we can get more gym time, eat better and work harder. However, with the kids return to school we are offered new obstacles such as carpool, sports and homework.
I encourage you to, instead of using the summer schedule as an excuse, look at what truly held you back from achieving your goals and how you can make sure that this obstacle(s) is no longer in your way.
The “No Real Plan” obstacle. A lack of awareness of where to start is the biggest issue here. Setting SMART goals is a very positive way in which to move forward and to move past the idea that you have “no clue” as to where to start. This acronym asks for you to set goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time Based.
A specific goal is a goal in which you pinpoint exactly what you wish to achieve. A good idea is to make a goal sheet listing 3-5 SPECIFIC goals that you wish to achieve in 3 months, 6 months and one year. You can choose to go further than this time frame if it makes sense for the obstacle.
To make this goal measurable you need to be able to clearly track the progress you have made.
Do not just say “I want to be healthier” but rather write down the steps that you need to take to get healthier.
Do not just say “I want to be successful in business” or “I want to increase my revenue by 50%.” but rather write down exactly how you propose to do that.
An attainable and realistic goal will be one that is possible.
A bit of a dose of reality is very important but it is equally important to reach a bit beyond your comfort zone. The achieving of this goal is not necessarily going to be easy but it will be worth it.
A time based goal will be logical within a reasonable time frame.
A time frame must be tied to the goal. Nothing gets accomplished when we “get around to it.” The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is found by setting a reasonable deadline.
The “No Time” obstacle. Is it really that you have no time or is it the more likely option of the fact that you have not found the time for this pursuit?
I have no doubt that we are all very busy people. The stay at home parent, the work from home parent, the work outside of the house parent, and almost every other person has a busy life filled with the pursuit of their goals and, let’s face it, a whole bunch of busy work and maybe a few time wasters, as well.
It is the busy work and the time wasters that must be explored.
Start each day with a clearly defined list of “Five Focus Items.” This list should include the most important tasks and a clearly defined plan on how to accomplish them. The plan should not include more than 10 items “To Accomplish.” In my practice, I have found that any list larger than ten is overwhelming and often leads to an ignored list.
The “No Energy” obstacle. If you truly have no energy then research is needed. Assess your sleep patterns for habits, duration and quality. Review your health goals, nutrition and water intake. Your water intake should be approximately half of your body weight in ounces. For example, a 150 pound person should be drinking a minimum of 75 ounces of good, clean water per day. This should be increased based on heat, exercise and various other factors. This should be decreased if you have a medical issue requiring you to do so.
A dehydrated body is a tired body.
Also consider visiting a nutrition specialist for a review of your nutrition requirements, your food intake and your food choices.
The “No Confidence” obstacle. Always questioning your well thought out plans will not help you to progress towards your goals.
Do your due diligence in regards to research and then have confidence in your work.
Realize that it’s okay to make mistakes. These can be wonderful learning experiences and they may even be an opportunity in disguise.
The “No Money or Resources” obstacle. This obstacle can be solved in various ways. I encourage you to first logically assess what goals you can achieve with little to no investment. This will negate the need for investors.
Regardless of the goal being goal there are always certain things that can be achieved without much money.
Find these things and do them.
If you find yourself at a point where you need capital to move forward then there is help. Read Five Tips for Finding and Securing Private Investors for Your Start-Up.
Give much thought to your goals and whether, or not, you really want an investor. An investor may bring money to the proverbial table but they also bring opinions, politics and shared ownership.
I wish you much luck achieving all of your smart goals and even those that you have yet to discover. Please let me know if I can help in any way.