In the business world, we use the acronym S.M.A.R.T. whenever we embark on a new goal. Today I am adding one more letter to the acronym and it reads S.M.A.R.T.Y. We are going to break it down today. First of all, it stands for:
Specific – Measurable – Attainable – Realistic – Timely – WHY.
This one is the mother of the acronym. You can just say, “I want to lose weight” or “I want to take a vacation this year.”Well, how much weight? A better goal is, “I want to lose 10 pounds by not eating out and walking for 30 minutes 6 days a week, or “I want to take a 7 day vacation this summer by saving X a week.
How. Furthermore, how are you going to do it? Without a the “how” it’s just wishful thinking, and believe me, I love wishful thinking, but it’s not going to get me anywhere. When I first started in personal training, I was more a salesman than a personal trainer. My favorite line for a potential client was, “Have you been thinking about getting in shape?” They would answer, “yes.” For which I will ask, “how long have you been thinking about it.” To which they would answer, “a couple weeks/months.” Finally, they closer was, “did you know that studies show that thinking about it will never get you in shape?” The salesman in me loved it!
How will get you there. Do you want a new career? Then the how is go back to school, learn a new skill, join a networking group or you can hire a head-hunter-person. With getting in shape you can join a gym, a local group or hire a personal trainer.
How are you going to measure your goal to make sure you are on track? You can say, I am going to weight myself once a week. This is a technique that I use with myself and all my clients. Your weight will fluctuate day by day. Even in one day, you weight less in the morning and more as the day goes on. This will wreak havoc to your motivation if you constantly weigh yourself.
For a vacation, you need to measure how much time off you can afford and how much your trip will cost you. Figure that out and put away the money on a monthly basis until you have it. How much vacation time do you have and when will you have what you need?
Attainable & Realistic
To me, these go hand in hand. You can’t get married if you are not dating anyone. These days, the goal is probably attainable, but not realistic. You can’t run a marathon without running – definitely not attainable (at the risk of damaging your body on a permanent basis). You can’t become the CEO of the company you work for if your position is currently entry level – maybe attainable, but not realistic. You get the point. Yes there are the exceptions of the 16 year old kid on youtube that becomes a millionaire overnight, but it’s not very realistic. Ask yourself, is it likely that this will happen for me? Is it even possible?
This one puts a date on it. Now that your goal is specific, measurable, attainable and realistic, the next question is: by when? Write in your caledar in big letters when you will attain this goal. Is it a short term goal or long term goal. Or better yet, a short term goal leading to an even bigger goal.
This is my own personal twist to the acronym. Mark Twain is credited for saying, “The two most important days in your life is when you are born and second one is when you find out why.” Your goals no matter how positive and noble they are will not have the power they need without the WHY.
In my earlier years of personal training I was on fire and I was determined to help everyone I knew achieve six pack abs! Then I started training Bob. For the most part he didn’t enjoy our workouts. He didn’t have a bad attitude about it, but he didn’t share the enthusiasm that most clients displayed. His thing was racquetball, but over the years, the sport had left his body, especially his knees, in pain.
One day at the risk I would lose him as I client I asked, “Bob, it seems you don’t enjoy our workouts, why do you show up?” He simply answered, “because my wife wants me to be around and so do I.” The enjoyment and love of the workouts did not spring him out of bed. His goal was specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely..and now I knew WHY. It was this WHY that kept him showing up every day.Share