Jones & Hill - January 2019

The Must-Read, Change-Your-Life Newsletter helping seriously injured people for over 30 years

JANUARY 2019

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HOW SMART GOALS CAN HELP YOU ACHIEVE YOUR NEW YEAR’S OBJECTIVES

For many, January holds new possibilities for the future. As a new year rolls in, you may be dreaming up ways to make your life better. Maybe you want to eat cleaner, lose weight, keep a cleaner house, or be better with your finances. Regardless of what your goals are, the first day of the year is often met with blind ambition. Yet, for all the enthusiasm that you have in January, your eagerness often starts to fade by February. The person who was ready to dominate the scales and get out of debt seems like a stranger. It’s almost as if New Year’s resolutions are more related to failure than success. But it doesn’t have to be that way. SMART goals are a way to ditch the shortcomings of ill-defined resolutions and put your plans into action. The acronym stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-sensitive. Say you have a goal to lose 15 pounds. Before you even start with the SMART goal method, you need to figure out your “why.” Do you want to lose weight just because that’s what everyone resolves, or is there a deeper meaning behind the objective? From there, you can evaluate how your goal relates to the acronym.

married. A measurable goal should give you a clear picture to aim for. For instance, maybe you want to lose 15 pounds of fat with regular exercise so that when you take your kids to the beach, you can look like your college self again. Attainable Making a goal practical often becomes a stumbling block for many individuals trying to reach a goal. Is losing 15 pounds even possible? If it is, you’re not going to do it all in one swoop, and that’s why setting smaller goals that are also SMART is a great way to ensure you’re always heading in a positive direction. An attainable goal should reasonably fit your needs and may look like, “I want to lose 2 pounds of fat this week by doing cardio so that I can reach my larger goal.” Relevant Relevance is where the “why?” question comes back into play. Why does this goal matter to you, and why are you pursuing it? You need a solid foundation to overcome adversity and meet your objective. Time-Sensitive When are you going to achieve this goal? Without a precise time stamp, your goal holds no value. When you delay a goal or fail to set a specific time frame, you prevent it from being accomplished. If you want to lose 15 pounds, when are you going to do it by? Time-sensitive goals require you to take regular action. For instance, you might say, “I want to lose 15 pounds of fat by exercising three times a week for 12 weeks. When I take my kids to the beach for spring break, I want them to see me and be proud of how I look. Each week, I am going to aim to lose at least 1 pound and go to the gym a minimum of three times a week.” The last layer to goal setting is accountability. Who is going to help you through this? Will you only be accountable to yourself? Will family or friends hold you accountable? A spouse? Without multiple layers of accountability, a goal is just a nice thought. Set your target high this year, and don’t settle for empty words.

“MAKING A GOAL PRACTICAL OFTEN BECOMES A STUMBLING BLOCK FOR MANY INDIVIDUALS TRYING TO REACH A RESOLUTION.”

Specific Simply stating you want to lose weight is not specific enough. How are you going to do it? How much weight are you looking to lose? Do you want to build more muscle to change your shape? A more specific objective with a clear reason would look something like, “I want to lose 15 pounds of fat by exercising regularly so that I can take my kids to the beach.” Measurable How are you going to define success for this goal? 15 pounds is a great quantifiable goal to start with, but it’s also vague. Maybe you want to get back to the figure you had in college or before you got

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