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Goal Shifting


Here we are, that funny in-between time that's not winter but not yet truly beach picnic weather. You might say we're at a seasonal pause, which is really a perfect time to do some goal shifting. Objectives, after all, do eventually get met, but it's easy to keep habitually plugging along in a routine without recognizing that moment of hallelujah, deed done. So consider: do you have a new healthy wish list headed into the warmer weather? What if you just picked one thing and created a conscious goal? Take the pause to reroute and reinvigorate, and then jump on it!

Several times in books and workshops, I have been introduced to the SMART acronym for goal setting.

Specific. If this is something you really want to do, something that quenches a passion within you, then it's worth getting specific about. Such as, "I want to plant 6 heirloom rose bushes along my back fence," rather than "I want to plant some flowers to make my backyard look better."

Measurable. You need a concrete yardstick to know when to celebrate. "I want to run a 10K," rather than "I want to start running."

Achievable. Is this something that you (or anyone) can do? We're not trying to be superwoman or superman here. Small steps. Removing flour and sugar from your diet is more realistic than cutting out all carbohydrates.

Realistic. Is this a sustainable goal? Will it fit with your lifestyle (or can you reasonably tweak your lifestyle to fit the goal)? If you have a brand new baby at home, exercising for 2 hours every day might not be realistic.

Time-bound. A timeline keeps you honest and keeps you reaching. Is this a goal for the end of this month? This quarter? This year?

Here are some examples of SMART goals:

"I want to develop my yoga practice by attending three Level 2 classes each week at X studio. I'll go on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 6:30 PM, and I want to do this for a whole month and then evaluate how I feel."

"I want to cook a healthy dinner at home 4 nights per week for 3 months. At least half the food will be vegetables, and I'll buy the needed ingredients every Sunday evening to make those 4 meals."

"I want to improve my mental health by having more plants in my environment. I'm going next Saturday to the garden store (or my enthusiastic green-thumbed neighbor) and getting clippings to pot 2 plants for home and 2 for my office at work."

Your turn.

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