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I am a writer. I appreciate grammar. I love Batman. I once convinced myself there was a dead body in the dumpster at work. I wish animals could talk. I adopted my dog partly because his name is Frank, the name of my novel's protagonist. I crave snow cones. I dream insane dreams and remember them for days, weeks, months, years. I wish I could record my dreams as films and share them with others. I am scared of spiders. I like to clean. I love high heels.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Focal Point: Goalsetting/Change

As I stated in my introduction, I will be taking the time to explain the different focal points of my blog. The first one? GOAL SETTING and going about CHANGE! Sure - it seems simple enough, right? You want something different. Go get it. It's not that easy.

How many of us have said, "I'm starting a new diet Monday?" And then, "I'll start again tomorrow." Or then, "Well, might as well start NEXT Monday." Or wanted to save money. But darn it, those shoes sure were cute. And they were on sale! I'll start next paycheck, right?


Setting goals and achieving them are different things. To set a goal, you must do more than think about it. Brian Tracy says goals should be SMART: SPECIFIC, MEASURABLE, ATTAINABLE, REALISTIC, and TIMELY. 

Instead of saying you "want to lose weight" (which is a popular goal) - make it a SMART goal. "I want to get my body fat percentage in the athletic range of 18-21% by the end of the year.) Or make smaller goals that will snowball into larger ones. I once was 60 lbs. heavier than I am now. My first goal? Stop drinking sodas and eating fast food everyday for lunch. And I bought a scale to keep an eye on my weight and started working out to Beachbody DVD Programs. My first was Tony Horton's Power 90. It grew from there. I lost some weight, I began measuring my body to keep track of where I was and set new goals. Then I began eating more turkey, chicken, and fish. Then I switched to a plant based diet and went vegan two years ago. I fluctuate between vegan/vegetarian now.

My new fitness goals? Complete Chalene Johnson's PiYo program in 60 days and meet my water intake every. single. day. Do you see how my goals changed over time? Instead of having a vague notion of "wanting to lose weight" - I set a SMART goal. It was specific. It was measurable. It was attainable. It was realistic. It was timely. And I got the results I wanted.

How about terminating debt? Setting SMART goals helps us actually achieve this. There were times when I felt my debt termination was accomplishing nothing. Things come up, I may not be able to put that much extra on the payment. But when I stopped and reassessed the situation - I WAS making progress. It amazes me how those quick $5.00 Starbucks add up. Know what you could do? Instead of running by there, take that $5.00 and stick it in an envelope or in savings. At the end of the month, you could have $100.00 to put extra on something. It's a SMART goal. Or eliminate needless bills (magazine subscriptions, club memberships, etc.) and divert that money to debt termination. Dave Ramsey has great advice on debt termination and more information can be found on his website www.daveramsey.com.   

Once you set your SMART goal - keep it on your mind. Write it down. Read it everyday. In fact, I read a story where an IT technician, who was required to change his password every 30 days, used his password to keep his goals top of mind. And you know what? He met them. Everything from forgiving an ex wife, to quitting smoking cigarettes, to saving money for a vacation to Thailand. Read his story HERE - it's a great example of how immersing yourself in your SMART goals daily help force accountability.

By making it more specific, you are capable of aiming your efforts where they matter most.

By making it measurable, you capture your progress which just FUELS your motivation!

By making it attainable, it's within grasp. You CAN do it. 

By making it realistic, you stay grounded. 

By making it timely, you are increasing the chances of being successful! It also forces a deadline and promotes accountability!

Whether it is to drink one soda per week rather than seven or to block out thirty minutes a day to read something for pleasure or write 200 new words a day - setting SMART goals and then verbalizing those goals help us reach them. That success fuels us for further success. 

What are some SMART goals you currently have? Post them. Share them. Make this a community where we can hold one another accountable and encourage one another!

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