Is it more important to hit goals or to set goals? We have heard this question asked many times, so let's do a quick experiment (we love experiments).
Click the center of the target:
Which was easier?
As important as it is for us to hit our goals it is more important for us to set them in the first place. As simple as that sounds and as silly as this experiment makes it seem, it's impossible to hit a target that isn't there.
We're just hours away from watching a big ball drop from the sky in Times Square, eating, kissing some loved ones, toasting to health, happiness, and success in the new year, and making some resolutions (not necessarily in that order of course). So, with that being said, in a last minute attempt to add some value to 2010 we give you our take on goals.
Far too often we find ourselves working towards fuzzy goals. We have done a bit of studying on the topic and no matter who the author or speaker is there's one common theme; goals need to be clearly defined. Experts on the subject* also recommend that goals are visible and written out several times daily.
We like to keep things simple so when it comes to goals we like to follow the acronym smac. No, not smack like Adam West as Batman popping the Joker in the face. This smac is a bit different but when used properly can pack just as big a punch ;)
SMAC is an acronym that stands for specific, measurable, attainable, and challenging. Year after year, the most common goals and New Year's resolutions seem to center around health so let's take a quick look at how smac works using a health related goal.
I want to get in better shape in 2011.
When the clock strikes 12 and 2010 ends, millions of people will make this pledge. While better health is something we should all strive for, how specific is this goal?
If I lose 5 pounds will I be in better shape? Is it possible that I could gain 5 pounds and be in better shape (increase muscle mass and lower body fat)? While it's a great goal it lacks specificity.
A more clearly defined fitness goal could be something along the lines of: In 2011 I will lower my body fat percentage.
As mentioned above, it is very difficult to hit a goal that lacks specificity. 'Better shape' is not necessarily easy to quantify or measure; body fat percentage on the other hand is very easy to calculate and measure. It is easy for us to figure out our starting point and set a clearly defined goal.
A clearly defined fitness goal that is also measurable could be: In 2011 I will lower my body fat percentage to 10%.
When Tom Hopkins talks about goals he uses the approach better than your best but believable. We think that believable falls in line with the a of SMAC, attainable.
If our current body fat percentage was a great deal higher than 10%, setting this goal might not be attainable (for now); however, if our body fat percentage had been in the 10% range in the past and is now just slightly higher, this would be a great goal to shoot for.
Our clearly defined fitness goal that is measurable and attainable could be: In 2011 I will lower my body fat percentage to 10%.
Our goals should be attainable yet still challenging. We have often heard that goals should be set so that they are hit 50% of the time. Don't you feel great when you set a challenging goal and hit it?
As a wise dude named Michelangelo once said, "The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark." Thanks Michelangelo.
There we have it, our specific, measurable, attainable, challenging, fitness related goal for 2011 is: In 2011 I will lower my body fat percentage to 10%!
No, there's not a double C at the end of SMAC ;) We wanted to take a quick second though to stress the importance of celebrating your goals and your progress towards them.
Break your larger goals down into smaller goals; perhaps monthly, weekly, and even daily (for the bold out there), and be sure to celebrate when you have mini-successes that bring you closer to your larger goal!
We want to wish all of our readers a happy, healthy, and successful 2011. If you've already set some goals we would love to hear about them so don't hesitate to leave us a comment. One of our goals for 2011 is to include more business related posts on our blog but we'll get to the SMAC details after the ball drops ;)
*We at senioritis are not, nor do we pretend to be, experts on the subject(or any other subject for that matter). We do not play the role of 'goal experts' on tv but we have stayed at a Holiday Inn within the last 12 months ;)
Thanks for the article. Goals are a process and your process makes sense. Most businesses do make written goals to achieve and they do quarterly reviews to check their progress. I believe it would work on the individual level too.ReplyDelete
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Glad you liked the post Rosey! Great point that, whether we set business goals or individual goals, it's important to do reviews and keep track of our progress. Happy New Year ;)ReplyDelete
Good interesting post -I'll think about -and try to be more specific in - my goals from now! EvaReplyDelete
Thanks Eva, glad our post helped a bit. We wish you luck in hitting all of your goals this year ;)ReplyDelete
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