I hope you’re snuggled up on a couch somewhere, or maybe still in bed with a cup of steaming coffee (I’m a tea girl myself). This is my third post with Psych Central and I hope to get your neurons firing and thoughts buzzing, I’ve decided to post on one of my favourite topics.
Does that make me boring? Probably. However, when I start seeing a client the first thing I do is gauge how likely they are to commit to the goals they set in therapy. Why? Because therapy is not a passive activity, it’s an active one that takes work, dedication and commitment. There’s a common saying that anything worth having, takes work, and boy do I believe it!
Think of a time in the past when you had a goal set, you were working towards it and then it seemed to become less important and before long it faded into the background behind all the other things in life. One day you realize that you failed to achieve the goal you set and you berate yourself for not being more dedicated.
You begin to make conclusions about yourself and have thoughts such as:
‘I don’t’ have what it takes.’
‘I can’t do this.’
‘I’m a failure.’
‘I’m hopeless at sticking with a goal.’
You might even look at the people around you who were succeeding in their goal setting and you wondered why you didn’t have that secret formula. It’s true that some people are more motivated, ambitious and conscientious, but that doesn’t mean that they use some magic formula to achieve their goals, it just means they have traits that are more conducive to achieving them.
And trust me, if they don’t plan to achieve their goals, they won’t achieve them either.
Luckily, I can give you the formula that those magically gifted people are most likely using.
Your goals need to be SMART.
Why the capitalization? Because SMART is an acronym for: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Based. The criteria for ensuring that any goal set is achieved.
Using SMART goals means that you’ll avoid traps such as; …