Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
There is an increasing devotion shared among societies to make aspiring New Year Resolutions for personal development and to overcome life obstacles. Year after year individuals perform self-assessments and make bold declarations. “In this New Year, I will not do the same things or be in the same position as I was last year or in years before,” and so it has become a celebrated cliché to proclaim, “A New Year, A New You”.
There would be no dilemma to this affirmation if more individuals were successful in achieving it but sadly a large number of Americans abort their resolutions within the first few weeks or months. There is a huge misconception that creating a resolution will fix quickly and take away the undesired lifestyle/behavior when the reality of it is, to get something you never had before; you have to start doing things you never done before. To replace old habits/behaviors for lifestyle change, you have to create new habits/behaviors that take you from where you are to where you desire to be. I thought, what a great opportunity to share in this article a simple but effective method that produces bigger results than the hype and hoopla of hallmark declarations.
If you are truly serious about accomplishing your life goals you must make them SMART. Life coaching is about helping others achieve life fulfillment, and one of the effective coach approaches I use to motivate faith, focus, and follow-through is with a process called the S.M.A.R.T. goals method. The term “SMART” is an acronym that usually stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely — although you may find variant meanings of the phrase depending upon its application in business. This checklist is popular for developing and implementing performance goals that you can apply to any target area of your life. I hope you find this information to be useful as you strive to create a better you and achieve your lifelong dreams. With the SMART goals criteria:
Goals Must Be – Specific. A specific goal has a much greater chance of being accomplished than a general goal.
To set a specific goal you must answer the six “W” questions:
Who: Who is involved?
What: What do I want to accomplish?
Where: Identify a location.
When: Establish a time frame.
Which: Identify requirements and constraints.
Why: List specific reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing the goal.
Goals Must Be – Measurable. Establish concrete criteria for measuring progress on each goal you set. When you measure your progress, you stay on track, reach your target dates and experience the exhilaration of achievement that motivates you to reach your goals.
To determine if your goal is measurable, ask yourself questions such as: How much? How many? How will I know when it is accomplished?
Goals Must Be – Attainable. When you identify the goals that are most important to you, you begin to consider the things you need to do make them come true. You develop the attitudes, abilities, and skills needed to reach them. You begin to see previously overlooked opportunities to bring yourself closer to the achievement of your goals.
You can attain most any goal you set when you plan your steps wisely and establish a time frame that allows you to carry out those steps. Goals that may have seemed far away and out of reach eventually move closer and become attainable, not because your goals shrink, but because you grow and expand to match them. When you list your goals, you build your self-image. You see yourself as worthy of these goals and develop the traits and personality that allow you to possess them.
Goals Must Be – Realistic. To be realistic, a goal must represent an objective towards which you are both willing and able to work. A goal can be both high and realistic; you are the only one who can decide just how high your goal should be. However, be sure that every goal represents substantial progress. A high goal is often easier to reach than a lesser one because it has a greater motivational force. Some of the hardest jobs you ever accomplished actually seem easy simply because they were a labor of love.
Your goal is probably realistic if you truly believe that it can be accomplished. Another way to know if your goal is realistic is to determine if you have accomplished anything similar in the past or to ask yourself what conditions would have to exist to accomplish this goal.
And Goals Must Be – Timely. A goal should be grounded within a time frame. With no time frame tied to it, there’s no sense of urgency. If you want to lose ten pounds, it will not work to say “someday”. However, if you anchor the goal within a time frame, such as “by May 1st”, then you have set your unconscious mind into motion to begin working on the goal.
T can also stand for Tangible – A goal is tangible when you can experience it with one of the senses, that is, taste, touch, smell, sight, or hearing. When your goal is tangible, you have a better chance of making it specific and measurable and, thus, attainable.
Source: Tip Sheet information provided courtesy of Creating S.M.A.R.T. Goals, http://topachievement.com/smart.html (accessed January 07, 2013).
Prophetess Yolanda Banks is the founder of Amplified Life Ministries and the Co-Pastor of New Deliverance Bible Church in Sugar Land, Texas. She is a life coach and motivational speaker passionate about spiritually equipping others to discover and walk in their God divine purpose victoriously. Her multifaceted ministry emphasizes supernatural empowerment that inspires many to live transformational and productive Christian lives.