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Weekly Topic Saturday #38: S.M.A.R.T. Goals

Welcome to Weekly Topic Saturdays!

Hello all, I pray that your week was filled with joy and love. Welcome back to those who have been with me here at A Golden Dream. For my first-timers, a great big hello there, if you haven't already please check out my previous posts when you get a chance.


Please don't hesitate to join the conversation, there are no right or wrong answers or questions. I'm not proclaiming to know everything, I am simply just discussing and picking topics on things that I personally have gone through and that I know would help someone.


And the LORD answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.

Habbakuk 2:2


In the past few posts, I've mentioned this concept of S.M.A.R.T. Goals. Having SMART goals are so important when making plans when setting expectations, and so on. You can literally use S.M.A.R.T. Goals in every aspect of your life because of how universal it is. I know for many of us we can make plans for our goals but we have a hard time sticking to the plan it's because they aren't S.M.A.R.T. God instructs us in the bible to not only write the vision but to also make it plain. I think that a lot of us forget that crucial element. We want to overcomplicate things that don't need to be. The keyword is to make it plain. Let's jump in and I'll explain how to use and apply S.M.A.R.T. Goals to your life.


 


S-Specific


You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.

James 4:3


Many of us, including myself, are very good at making plans or goals for ourselves to work towards but in the end, we don't stick to them. We may start off strong with good intentions but eventually, things begin to taper off. Think of some of the plans that you've started but didn't get to see it through to the end. It could be weight loss, starting a business, learning a language, writing a book, reading, and the list goes on. One of the reasons why these plans didn't work is because more likely than not they weren't Specific (S.M.A.R.T). The very first thing that we should do when we want to make plans or goals is to make sure they are specific. Broad plans leave too much wiggle room for distraction and doubt. When plans are specific it allows for us to take note of the possible distractions and make the adjustments needed to overcome them. Be SPECIFIC.


Example: "I want to lose weight and eat healthier because my body will appreciate it in the long run.” I need to do cardio and strength training to provide my body with a healthy balance. I need to create a diet plan that will be nutritious and healthy that I will want to stick to.



M-Measurable


Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.

Proverbs 16:3


This is where the work comes in. The second reason why our goals do not work is because we forget to factor in a way to M-Measure (S.M.A.R.T.) or track the progress we have made. This stage requires action behind the specific goal. If you are anything like me, I love a good process and I love seeing my progress from the beginning till the end. One thing that discourages people from completing their goals is not being able to see their progress from their starting point, so they feel as if no change has been made. Tracking progress is imperative whether you are writing a book, starting a business, losing weight, going back to school, renovating, and so on. What are the things that you will do in order to reach your goal? Once you have those things now you have to break those things up into measurable parts so that it is easy to accomplish each milestone.


Example: In order to lose weight and build a healthier lifestyle I need to exercise three times a week for forty-five minutes each day. Each week I will make healthier substitutions for the foods that are not healthy to track which new foods are working and which foods aren't.



A-Achievable


Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

Hebrews 11:1



In this step of the process it is important to make sure that your goals are A-Achievable (S.M.A.R.T.), these goals are ones that you can see through to the end. Can you see what the end outcome will be? One reason why many can’t accomplish their goals is because they cannot see them coming true. There may have been curveballs or roadblocks thrown into the plan that have caused detours. It is important that when you create a goal for yourself that you not only make sure that it is specific and measurable but also that you can visualize the end process. It’s just what we talked about in The Subconscious Mind post the mind is a powerful thing we have to know that no matter what obstacles get in our way, we will not let them interfere with achieving what we set out to do. This is the time where you start to develop an end goal to accomplish no matter if your plans are short-term or long-term. Having an end goal will help keep things on track and provide motivation. It gives you something to work towards.


Example: My end goal for losing weight would be to have lost one hundred pounds by the end of the year. My end goal would also be to have tried at least twenty-five new recipes in that same time period.



R-Realistic


Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.”

Zechariah 4:10


This part of the process is all about determining whether or not your goals are R-Realistic (S.M.A.R.T.). One reason why many people can’t accomplish their goals is because they are not realistic with their life currently. It’s like we discussed in Self-Evaluation, in order to be able to make changes and improve various aspects of your life you have to self-evaluate. This is all about taking a step back from it all and evaluating if this is something that you can realistically accomplish within your set time frame. It would not be realistic to say that you were going to drop seventy pounds in a month. That is unhealthy and it is next to impossible to do. When plans are not realistic we are setting ourselves up for failure. Don’t despise small beginnings. Start small with expectations and over time allow them to grow. This will keep things more realistic for you. It is unrealistic to say that you are going to allocate 2 hours a day to learning a new language when you only have thirty minutes free from your schedule to use. Don’t take what is realistic for someone else and try and apply it to you because it will not work. Remember that each person is unique and they all can handle and take on things differently. Find what fits you realistically and start there, because in doing so it will give you the most insight into what you can and cannot handle.


Example: After self-evaluating, I realized that it is more realistic for me to aim for losing seventy pounds by the end of the year rather than one hundred pounds. It is more realistic of me to aim for trying fifteen new recipes because of how hectic my schedule is.



T-Timely


But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Matthew 6:33-34


The last part of this process is centered around T-Timing (S.M.A.R.T.). Our goals may not be coming through for us because there is no deadline. Let’s face it, deadlines will light a fire under a lot of us. We feel compelled and convicted if we aren’t making positive progress towards our deadline. This is why all of these steps in the S.M.A.R.T. Goal processes are important and dependent upon each other. Without the time element, we have no sense of urgency, commitment, or motivation to keep pushing towards our goals each day. Tomorrow is not promised so each day should be spent working towards what will be set as our finished outcome. It may mean that for you each day you need to set a list of specific goals for that day to accomplish before a specific time.


Example: Each day before 10:00 p.m. I will do 3o minutes of meditation. On the days of working out I will do my cardio or strength exercise by 7 pm and I will finish with 30 minutes of yoga. Each day will I increase my water intake by making sure to drink at least 15 oz every other hour.


Questions To Consider:

1. Are you S.M.A.R.T.? Do you think about all the elements before you plan?

2. What elements do you skip over when planning?

3. Do you write your visions out clearly?

4. What is keeping you from achieving your goals?




With Love, please remember that when you are in the midst of creating new goals or plans for yourself take the time to self-evaluate. It is important to know where you currently stand mentally, physically, and emotionally because it has the potential to impact your plans. Once you start the process of establishing goals make sure they are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely (S.M.A.R.T.) During the process make sure to ask yourself questions, keep yourself on track, and stick to your deadlines.



~Just Breathe...A Golden Dream~


Amen.






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