The Goal Setting Plan

Setting a goal is not the main thing.  It is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with that plan.”  Tom Landry, NFL Coach

Last week, we discussed setting goals.  Using the SMART approach to create effective goals.  This week we will discuss how to create a plan and track your goals because a goal without a plan, is just a wish.

When it comes to goal setting for larger goals, like the ones that are often set at the beginning of a year, a person is often looking at very large goals.  For example, most people at New Years’ will suggest they want to lose 30 pounds.  Unless you opt for a surgery, this is a very large goal and can be very difficult to succeed at.  Over time, most people will get frustrated at the difficulty in realize their goal and will give up.

As we mentioned last week, a goal has to have an end date to which you want to have achieved the goal.  So you give yourself a year to lose 30 pounds.  Unfortunately, that is not enough, as people will often procrastinate, especially earlier in the year and then as the year comes to a close, your goal is no longer achievable.

You need a plan.  To achieve your ultimate goal, you need to have smaller, timely evaluated, goals.  If you want to lose 30 pounds within a year, you will want to lose 2.5 pounds every month or a pound every two weeks.  Those are more reasonable goals and they are easily track able.  To be successful, you need to track your goals over smaller periods of time, like weekly, monthly, and bi-yearly.  Create a spreadsheet to track your progress and maintain it in a timely fashion.

Tracking is not enough though.  Your plan needs to include the behavior change that will lead to your success.  For our example, does that mean more exercise, eating less, or eating better, or a combination of all the behavior adaptions?  Please remember that these changes need to be achievable.

Your plans needs to be adaptable.  You need to beware that if the tracking isn’t leading to your goal, you need to be able to change your plan to bring you back on track to achieving your long term goals.

If you follow these simple tricks, you will have more success in achieving your goals.  Good luck.

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