Goals can come in many shapes and forms, from long-term goals like staying healthy or keeping in touch with family to daily goals like getting to work on-time or drinking a certain amount of water each day. No matter what the timeframe is of your goal, completing the goal(s) we set for ourselves can be one of the most fulfilling feelings you can experience.
Unfortunately, sometimes the goals we set for ourselves we are not able to achieve. Don’t worry, it happens to lots of people. It’s often because we’re so excited about reaching our goal, we don’t necessarily think of all the steps and obstacles along the way.
So how can we begin to help ourselves set goals we can reach? The first step is by creating a solid framework around the goals we set. Here are the four keys to keep in mind when setting attainable goals.
Set your intention
Intention is such a powerful word, yet many of us do not think about our intentions during our normal day-to-day life. Take a moment to think about something intentional you do during the day. What is the reason you are intentional about doing this?
When it comes to setting goals, taking a moment to pause and ask yourself, ‘Why is this important to me?’ is the first step in building a foundation to the successful completion of your goals.
Example: Goal=Get out of back pain. Why is getting out of back pain important to me? Getting out of back pain is important to me because I want to be able to be around, and present for my two young children.
Self-awareness means turning your gaze internally and having an honest conversation with yourself about where you currently are in relation to your goals. No sugar-coating, just looking at the current situation you’re in at the present time. Sometimes this can be a difficult task to do, so remember this is just your starting point.
Example: Goal=Get out of back pain. Where am I currently at when it comes to factors that contribute to my back pain?
Right now, I’m in a very high level of pain. I manage my back pain by taking medication. I know I should be doing more stretches that my Physical Therapist showed me, but I don’t feel like I have enough time in the day.
Create a success blueprint
After we have outlined what our current situation looks like, we can begin to put together a ‘blueprint’ around how we will be successful in achieving our goal. This includes listing off as many details as possible around the planning and limitations we might run into with our goal. Questions to ask yourself when creating a success blueprint include:
- What will I start to focus on to reach my goal?
- What are some obstacles that may get in the way of reaching my goal?
- Where will I work on my goal?
- When during the week will I work on my goal?
- Who can help hold me accountable to reach my goal?
- How will I know when I am successful in reaching my goal?
Example: Goal=Get out of back pain.
- What will I start to focus on to reach my goal? Doing the stretches my Physical Therapist gave me
- What are some obstacles that may get in the way of reaching my goal? I don’t feel like I have enough time, I don’t think I do the exercises correctly.
- Where will I work on my goal? At my house or at the gym
- When during the week will I work on my goal? After work from 5:00-6:00 pm
- Who can help hold me accountable to reach my goal? My best friend (and neighbor)
- How will I know when I am successful in reaching my goal? When I’ve been able to complete my stretches every day for a week OR when I am able to lower my level of pain
Specify your process
Looking over the information you write down in your blueprint can be overwhelming. To make it easier to define your goal, write out the specifics of your process into 1-2 sentences. The more specific you can make this sentence, the better. Try breaking up this information into smaller steps that you can work towards in 1-2 week increments. This is helpful to keep from getting ‘burnt out’ as you work towards achieving your goal.
Example: Goal=Get out of back pain. SMART Goal outline
I will do my Physical Therapist recommended stretches on weekdays from 5:00-6:00 pm starting on March 1st through March 14th.
Begin reaching your goals today
Taking the time to put a plan in place around your goals is the best way to continually reach, and surpass the goals you set for yourself. Our Telespine Health Coaches are experts in helping clients understand how to set and reach their health goals. Let us help you begin reaching your goals today. Contact us for more information.