Friday, November 10, 2006

Define Your Goals

Goal setting and planning are fundamental keys to a life of success and happiness. You should identify what you want to accomplish and how you'll carry out your plan. This is important when making positive changes and will help you succeed.

You must set short-term and long-term goals. These goals should be S-M-A-R-T:

S - Specific
M - Measurable
A - Attainable
R - Relevant
T - Time-based

We will use health and weight training goals as examples:

A specific short-term goal may be to start strength training; the long-term goal may be improving balance, or controlling your weight. This goal is easily measurable: Have you or have you not begun the program? Indeed, this is an attainable goal, as long as your doctor approves, and this goal is certainly relevant to living a long, healthy life.

Your goal should be time-based: you should read this book within 5 days, buy the equipment you need, and set your exercise schedule within the next 5 days. Start the program within the following 2 to 3 days.

The goals and time frame are entirely up to you. You may want to focus your long-term goals on improving a specific health condition, such as reducing pain from arthritis, controlling diabetes, increasing bone density to help combat osteoporosis, or increasing muscle mass to help with balance or weight control.

Or your goal may be to bowl or play tennis, or perhaps to do all of your own chores, such as cleaning windows or vacuuming. Your success depends on setting goals that are truly important to you and possessing a strong desire to achieve them.

Goal-Setting Worksheet #1
Identifying Your Short-Term Goals

Identify at least two of three of your own short-term goals and write them on your personal goal-setting worksheet. If you have more goals, write them down as well. Remember that each goal should be S-M-A-R-T — specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based. Setting these short-term goals will help motivate you to make your long-term goals a regular part of your life.

Examples:
I will talk to my doctor about starting this program.
I will buy the equipment I need and get ready to exercise within 2 weeks.
I will look at my calendar and schedule 2 or 3 45-minute blocks of time for exercise each week.
I will invite my spouse/friend/family member to join me in these exercises.

Goal-Setting Worksheet #2
Identifying Your Long-Term Goals

Identify at least two or three long-term goals and write them on your personal goal-setting worksheet. If you have more goals, write them down as well. What are your dreams and aspirations? Write down whatever your dreams are, no matter how big or outlandish they seem and begin at once to come up with ideas and a plan for their achievement. (Don't forget to use the S-M-A-R-T technique.)

Examples:
I will do each exercise 2 or 3 times each week. Within 3 months, I will do each exercise with 5 lb. weights.
After 12 weeks of the program, I will take the stairs instead of the elevator.
I will be able to walk to the store or office.
I will do my own vacuuming.
I will play golf.
I will reduce some of the pain and stiffness from arthritis.

Think big. The life of your dreams is yours - but only if you know specifically what you want, how you plan to get it and the actions you take to achieve it.


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