Friday, October 24, 2014

day 24: set attainable goals...

I believe there are three keys to setting attainable goals.  In order to achieve a goal it needs to be; specific, measurable and you need to be accountable about your goal.  I'm going to walk you through one of my recent goals so you get the idea.

I am a runner.  I love to run.  But sometimes I lack motivation to do so.  So, a few years ago when I brainstorming for my yearly goals.   I wrote down that I wanted to run more.  Which sounds like a good goal but the problem with that goal is that there was no way to measure if I succeeded or not.  A goal like that leaves me asking 'more than what?'.  This is where being more specific in your goals comes in.  

 1.  Set Specific Goals.  The more specific you can be the better.  I sat with my goal for a while and thought about what I really meant when I said I wanted to run more.  Did I want to run a certain number of days a week or month?  Did I want to run a certain number of miles?   Did I want to train for a race? 

As it turns out, I decided my goal was to run a half marathon.  It had been 20 years (literally 20 years) since I ran a race that long and I really felt like I wanted to see if I could do it again.  As I was figuring this out, I got a post card in the mail from Team In Training, a running program for the Leukemia & Lymphoma society that will help you train for a race in exchange for fundraising dollars.  I looked at the races and one of them fit our family schedule perfectly.  So I signed up through this program.

2. Set Measurable Goals.  Make sure you can track your success.  This is why your goal needs to be specific, you need to be able to see whether or not you are on track to achieve your goal.  I was given a half marathon training schedule and was able to track my progress weekly by whether or not I ran the suggested mileage.  It was great to have a specific program to follow while training for this run. 

3. Find Someone to be Accountable to.  Tell other people your goal and have them help you by supporting you in your dream to achieve something new.   I knew that the training was going to be a big time commitment, so I talked it over with Mark and got his agreement that this was something our family could support me in doing.  I was also accountable to the team I was on and it was great to have that support.  My race was in April, so  I trained during the coldest months here in Pennsylvania and I am a total wimp, I hate being cold.  But it felt good to be able to say I had run in snow, ice and freezing temperatures in order to reach my goal.

My amazing big sister, who is a breast cancer survivor, was at the finish line to support me.  

Once you have achieved your goal, CELEBRATE!  It is so awesome to decide to do something, set a goal and then achieve it.  You need to allow yourself to recognize what you've done.

I would love to run a marathon.  It has been a goal of mine for a long time.  So I've recently decided that I want to run a marathon before my 50th birthday (which is WAY closer than I want it to be).

Now, I do realize that not everyone wants to set sports specific goals.  And truthfully most of my goals revolve around learning new skills or reorganizing my house.  One of my current goals, since my birthday was just last month all my goals are new, is to read 12 meaningful or impactful books in one year.  I'm busy determining what that criteria means in my life and find books to put on my to be read list.

So your goals can be as simple as clean out the hall or guest room closet.  You know the closet that seems to hold all the stuff you have no other home for?  Just make sure you can be specific about what you want to achieve, you can measure whether or not you did it and share your goal with someone.   

I encourage you to set goals that are specific and measurable and find someone to be accountable with.  As humans we thrive when we have something we are working towards.  Set goals, it will help you find more balance and order in your lives.


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